After Sharon Neskey received extraordinary care from a patient care assistant at the Brigham, she and her family were inspired to establish a scholarship fund to support PCAs who aspire to a career in nursing. The inaugural recipients of the Neskey Educational Opportunity Scholarship are attending UMass Boston this fall and taking the next step on their path to nursing. 

“We are deeply grateful to the Neskey family for recognizing and supporting our talented PCAs,” said Maddy Pearson, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer and senior vice president of Patient Care Services. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, talented group of PCAs caring for patients at the Brigham.”

Each of the recipients has a different story, but they have three important qualities in common: a strong work ethic, dedication to providing outstanding care and a desire to make a difference in the lives of their patients. 

Ginielli Bueno, Tower 11ABD: Originally from Brazil and a new U.S. citizen, Bueno always knew that she wanted to pursue a career in health care. While at Bunker Hill Community College, she was advised to take PCA courses and, during her two years in this role at the Brigham, she found that she loved forming relationships with patients and began to feel that nursing is her calling. She says, “Not many professions give the opportunity to make a difference in a person’s life like nursing does.”

Jennifer Lyons, Tower 15CD: A biology major in college, Lyons found that she wasn’t “in love” with the subject and eventually withdrew from the program. The care her grandmother later received at the Brigham would be the spark that ignited Lyons’ true passion and professional aspiration. “I have seen what an impact compassionate and empathetic care makes, and it is remarkable,” she says. Lyons has been working as a PCA for seven years, during which time she learned phlebotomy. From the experience of peer phlebotomy training, she discovered that she enjoys teaching and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in education after completing her BSN. 

Alba Mullen, Tower 11ABD: Although there are many nurses in her family, Mullen’s path to the profession was anything but traditional. Mullen, a native of Costa Rica, planned on a career in law and received her associate’s degree to become a paralegal. When she couldn’t find work in that field, she volunteered as a dental apprentice and says she “fell in love with interacting with patients,” her first hint that nursing may be a natural fit. She decided to take CNA classes and joined the Brigham as a PCA last year. 

Emilienne Phane, Tower 10BA: Phane, who was born in Haiti and grew up in France, has been working as a CNA and a PCA since she moved to the U.S. eight years ago. She first considered a career in nursing when she watched her mother care for her ailing father with compassion and selflessness until he passed away. At that time, Phane left school to help her mother take care of Phane’s five siblings. Phane says that this time in her life, although difficult, taught her to enjoy caring for others. She believes that truly remarkable nurses have not only clinical skills, but also “the heart and compassion to care for and comfort people in need.”