"That's where my heart is": Mohsini named Nurse of the Month for August

Nina Mohsini, far right in blue scrubs, was named Roswell Park's Nurse of the Month for August.

It’s not an easy job to hold someone’s hand as they’re going through a tough time.

Nina Mohsini remembers being 17 years old and scared, spending time in the hospital for a collapsed lung. It was the nursing staff who spent time with her and made her feel better. “I was the only young kid there and they took care of me.”

She decided around that time to become a nurse. “I wanted to help people,” she says, now Nina Mohsini, BSN, RN. “It’s terrible in those situations.”

Early on, Mohsini knew she wanted to specialize in oncology and work at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. After a two-year stint at a different hospital doing hematology oncology and hospice care, she joined the Endoscopy team in 2015. She’s been a nurse with the Assessment & Treatment Center since April as she’s working toward earning her psychiatric nurse practitioner degree.

“That’s where my heart is,” she says. “My favorite part of nursing is walking people through those really rough moments. I’ve always been psych-oriented. That’s what I’m working on now. But as a nurse, I’ll do whatever’s needed.”

That includes having difficult conversations with patients.

“I’m comfortable in the dark places with people. I’m not afraid to talk to people about death,” she says. “People need to go through those emotions and they need to have someone who can help take care of them. I also know how to laugh at uncomfortable awkward situations in which sometimes you need a laugh. “

Receiving her training in psychiatric nursing allows her to help patients navigate this difficult time in their lives in a more effective way in addition to being able to read a room better, she says. “To know you have to stop what you’re doing sometimes to ask people how they’re doing – I asked someone that one night while doing an intake for an admission, and the patient said no one had ever asked how they were doing.”

For her compassion and care with patients, Mohsini has been named Roswell Park’s Nurse of the Month for August.

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Christie Baker, BSN, RFNA, CNOR, BA, a Clinical Nurse Manager, describes Mohsini as a “hard-working mom of two, who puts her sweat and tears into her life and job. She works tirelessly to keep things running smoothly at Roswell Park and at home and it isn’t unnoticed that she is spread thin but still smiles every day. She recently went to ATC night shift to finish her degree, learning a new position in nursing. Nina deserves recognition.”

Receiving this honor was a surprise to Mohsini, who was completing a long overnight clinical shift and was awake for around 27 hours at the time. “I had to go and get scrubs from the operating room in the middle of the night and was a mess, and these people were dressed to the nines,” she said of learning she’d been named Nurse of the Month. “I was a mess but it was really nice.”

Of her new team in the ACT, Mohsini says she’s been welcomed with open arms. “They’re a really great group of people. It’s always weird starting a new place but it didn’t take me long at all to feel comfortable.”

She also credits her new supervisor, Cathrine Casacci, BSN, RN, MS, a Clinical Nurse Manager in the ACT, for the smooth transition. “Cathy’s so great.  She was willing to work with my part-time school schedule however she could. By the grace of her kindness, she’s working with me and helping me finish.”

Once she’s completed her program, in December or next May, Mohsini hopes to start tackling a different list – all the things she’s put on hold during her four-year schooling. “I keep a long bucket list of things I want to do when I’ve graduated and have time again. It includes taking up athletic hobbies again: Yoga, running, tennis. Anything that involves not sitting on a couch and studying. I’d love to sit on the deck I built two years ago and never spent any time on!”