“They inspire me to do a good job”: Courtney named Nurse of the Month for December

Alli Courtney, second from left, holds flowers and a certificate declaring she is Nurse of the Month for December. Three other women stand in a hall with her.

To hear her talk about her job, her team and her patients, being a nurse is a calling for Alli Courtney, BSN, RN.

She’s the second person in her family to become a nurse, following her grandmother, and always felt drawn toward a career in medicine.

After spending some time in a different hospital, Courtney came to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center as an agency nurse assigned to the breast cancer clinic. While there, a position opened up and changed her life.

“I never considered working in oncology until I was working there but I’ve always had an interest in women’s health,” she says. “Being here, there’s something really special about it. The patients I get to interact with every day, they inspire me to do a good job. We take care of really amazing, wonderful women. This diagnosis has completely changed their life and we get to be the ones to take care of them and help them through it. It’s an amazing feeling to be a source of comfort for these women.”

Two years into her job in the breast clinic, she loves it even more. “Time really does fly when you’re having fun and happy and love what you do,” she says. “I love my job at Roswell Park. I’m constantly telling people that I love my job. I’m very lucky I get to say that because a lot of people don’t.”

Her manager, Cathrin McMullin, MSN, RN, OCN, also feels fortunate to have Courtney on her team and caring for her patients.

“Alli is a kind, compassionate, sincere and empathetic nurse who takes excellent care of the patients,” McMullin says. “The patients love her and greet her with as warm a welcome as she greets them. She is an excellent team member who always sees the good in everyone. It’s easy to get caught up in negativity but she always focuses on the positive. Alli is agreeable to coming in early and staying late if that’s what is needed to take care of the patients.”

For all those reasons and more, McMullin nominated Courtney as the Nurse of the Month for December. “She has only been at Roswell Park a couple of years but her impact on the patients and staff is enormous.”

Courtney, who was in a patient’s room preparing for a round of treatment when she learned she was being honored, puts the credit to her team. “It’s a blessing in itself that you like your coworkers and get along with them. We genuinely care about each other. I have to credit our manager, Cathrin, for that. She’s created an environment where we can all be ourselves while focusing on the patients. When the staff is getting along and working well together, the patients benefit the most from that. It’s made the breast clinic a nice place to be. People can come here and feel the positive energy. I love the people I work with. It’s another part of working at Roswell Park that’s really changed my life.”

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