During National Nurses Month in May, we spoke with some of our nurses to learn why they first joined the Brigham, what makes them stay, and what advice they have for someone considering a career in their field of nursing.

“The Brigham has always been a family place for me — I started at the Brigham in 2016 because of family. My aunt and my cousins worked here, and I was even born here.

My favorite part of working at the Brigham is the nursing-focused approach. Here, nurses are really valued as members of the team, and our insight and recommendations are heard. There is so much respect for nurses at the Brigham. Although I have never worked at another hospital, from everything I hear, the Brigham is the best when it comes to patient safety and nurse-to-patient ratios. I said that I started at the Brigham because of family, and that is why I am still here. In so many ways, the people I work with feel like family.

I also value that the Brigham is a union hospital. There is so much support not only from the hospital but also from the union.

I love ED nursing and how fast-paced and ever-changing it is. I also love the team-based feeling here. Everyone is always willing to help and work together.

The one piece of advice I have for someone considering a career in ED nursing is to be adaptable. In the ED, we see it all. We have to approach each patient as needed. You never know what you are going to see next, and each minute truly matters.”

 —Anthony DeSalvo, BSN, RN, Emergency Department


“I’ve been working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for eight years, all in neuroscience nursing. I began as a patient care associate in the Neuro ICU, where I now work as an RN. I always knew that I wanted to work at a large teaching hospital with immense resources for both their patients and staff. I was also amazed by the level of advocacy, knowledge, compassion and professionalism that Brigham nurses display in their care, and I knew I wanted to learn from and work beside these nurses.

I love working in the Neuro ICU because the nursing care is very detailed-oriented for the complex needs of our patients with neurological disorders. This attention to detail allows you to recognize even the slightest change in a patient’s clinical status.

Our team supports each other and collaborates to provide each patient with the best care possible to meet their individual needs. Each member of the team — nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors and physician assistants — plays a critical role in caring for our patients, and I truly love being a member of that team. I learn something new from my colleagues each and every day.

At the Brigham, I see cutting-edge research and technology in the clinical space deliver high-quality, evidence-based care for our patients. The care we provide daily impacts not only the patients we care for directly but also health care on national and global levels. I feel honored to play a small role in this larger mission.

Working in the neuroscience field is so rewarding, and I would recommend that anyone considering a nursing career in the neuroscience field to go for it!”

Elizabeth Williams, BSN, RN, CNRN, Braunwald Tower 9CD Neuroscience ICU


“I have worked at Brigham and Women’s for almost 20 years. When I first joined, I was really struck by how many nurses had been working here for 20-plus years. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, this must be an amazing place for nurses to work if so many have stayed for so long.’

Now, reflecting back 20 years later, I’ve stayed here for just as long for many reasons, but mainly because of the relationships. I love working on 4C because we have a small unit that really allows for building relationships with patients and coworkers.

Hematology/oncology patients tend to have very long hospital stays — weeks, sometimes months. I am able to spend time with my patients to build relationships that are the foundation for meeting their complex medical and emotional needs.

I have also developed strong relationships with my coworkers, especially my fellow oncology nurses. These unique and special relationships have not only supported me in my nursing practice and also personally. My coworkers have become my ‘work family’ and make it easier to work in a fast-paced environment. I am so proud to be part of such a dedicated team of nurses, and I am excited to see what the next 20 years of my oncology nursing career at BWH holds.

My advice to aspiring oncology nurses: No nursing job will allow you to develop such rich and meaningful relationships with your patients and colleagues than oncology nursing at BWH.”

—Mellisa Wilson, BSN, RN, OCN, Braunwald Tower 4C Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematology/Oncology Unit