Patricia A. Cruz-Stoessel, MSN, was inspired to a career in nursing by a nurse she met who impressed her with her dedication, enthusiasm and energy. Embarking on her studies at Bronx Community College, she completed her associate degree in nursing in 1976 and began her career later that same year as a surgery staff nurse at Jacobi Medical Center. From 1976 to 1978, she served as a staff nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before rising to become the assistant head nurse of the NICU from 1978 to 1984. During this time, Ms. Cruz-Stoessel furthered her studies and earned a bachelor’s degree in health education from Lehman College in 1983.
In 1984, Ms. Cruz-Stoessal became a supervisor nurse for surgery, post and antepartum care, the NICU, the newborn nursery, and pediatrics, which she followed with roles as a NICU clinician from 1986 to 1989 and a writer and coordinator for the NICU program from 1989 until 2002. Notably, she wrote an advanced NICU course in the early 1990s that was approved by the New York State Nurses Association. She also achieved a Master of Science in nursing and was certified as a pediatric nurse practitioner at Columbia University in 1995. Ms. Cruz-Stoessel concluded her tenure at Jacobi Medical Center as an assistant director of nursing, which saw her responsible for continuing education for nurses, doctors and other health professionals, as well as the mandated infection control program and the accreditation programs.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Ms. Cruz-Stoessel spent time as a public health nurse with the Visiting Nurse Service from 1985 to 1986. She has further involved herself with a range of professional organizations, including the New York State Nurses Association and the Nurses’ Association of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. For her excellence, she was presented with an “Excellence in Nursing” award in 1994 and inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Ms. Cruz-Stoessel retired from Jacobi Medical Center in 2002.