CGS Commencement Profile
M.S.N. grad spreads positivity through professional recognition
Though nurses have challenging jobs, especially during the pandemic, Abigail Benbow ’21 M.S.N. maintains a positive outlook on her work as a nurse at Chestnut Hill Hospital. A Fort Washington, Pennsylvania resident, she decided to apply to Immaculata University’s Master of Science in Nursing program along with a friend, and she appreciated the convenience of having most of her classes on-site at the hospital.
Abbey chose the nursing administration track and took several classes with Pamela Hudson, D.M., associate professor and M.S.N. program director. “It was fun to hear her stories from so many different roles and pick her brain,” Abbey says. Hudson helped Abbey navigate workplace scenarios and better understand organizational dynamics. “She got us excited about the leadership mindset,” Abbey comments.
Abbey has excellent leadership qualities, according to Hudson. “She’s very well respected in the institution, and when she opens her mouth, people listen to her, because she’s an incredible practitioner,” Hudson says. “The way she talks about work is always very upbeat.” Abbey’s positivity allows her to be resilient, even in difficult situations, Hudson reflects, adding, “It’s never too much to take care of the patient.”
“I have always treasured the moments I am able to make a personal connection with a patient,” Abbey says, “whether that is by offering them their favorite snack when hospital food isn’t quite what they’re hungry for, getting them up in the chair and going for a walk after days confined to bed, or being there to talk when they are lonely or anxious. My technical skills are important, but it is these small moments that mean the most to patients and their families, and I am proud to have the opportunity to provide a caring touch in the midst of situations which are often stressful and uncertain.
“Recently, as a natural progression of my nursing career and all I’ve learned throughout my M.S.N. program, I have also found much pride and joy in making similar personal connections with my co-workers,” Abbey continues. She serves as co-chair of Chestnut Hill Hospital’s professional recognition, engagement and advancement (PREA) council, which nominates nurses for awards and organizes annual activities for nurses’ week.
“I firmly believe that nurses are able to best care for their patients when they make it a priority to care for each other and themselves, and being a part of our PREA council has been an opportunity to do just that,” says Abbey.
One year, Abbey and her council members invited hospital staff to write down why they were thankful to work with certain coworkers and share their notes on a display. At Immaculata, she learned about different ways leaders can motivate people based on what they value. She and the council plan a variety of events to acknowledge nurses in different ways that are meaningful to them—free food, monetary gifts and written affirmations.
“I am passionate about celebrating the achievements of my coworkers,” Abbey reflects. “We have been through so much, especially since the onset of the pandemic. I am so proud of the way we have come together to support each other and overcome immense adversity from so many sources. Nursing has always been a difficult job, and this past year has only made it harder. The only way we will be able to sustain and grow the profession is by supporting each other and encouraging our next generation of nurses, and I am so thankful for opportunities to do just that.”