Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry
After Adelphi, Patricia Frohder Leto worked at Massapequa General Hospital as a staff nurse in the intensive care unit and emergency department then later as a nurse educator. After MGH Patricia took a position at St. Francis Hospital in the CCU, while working on her first master’s degree in healthcare administration. She was recruited into home infusion care as the General Manager of T2 Medical Home Infusion Company. Patricia managed a staff of 20 nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and delivery staff that provided patients with IV medications in the home. The majority of these patients were HIV/AIDS and cancer patients.
In the late 1990s, she began the master’s degree program at Adelphi and then took a leave from nursing to begin her family. Following the events of 9/11, she teamed with the FDNY Counseling Unit to provide counseling and care to firefighters and their families in the New York City area. Ms. Frohder Leto drew on her family background and formal training to work within the fire department’s culture. A difficult and emotional journey, it has also proven to be immensely rewarding, and has impacted her current counseling practice.
Ms. Frohder Leto has maintained her private practice for more than 8 years. She is the proud mother of 11-year-old twins.
When and why did you first want to become a nurse?
I grew up in Wantagh and graduated early from high school to pursue a nursing degree. At age 16, I enrolled at Nassau County Community College to begin my career as a nurse. In high school I had a deep interest in science and its connection to health and disease. I wanted a chance to work with people directly and help them. I knew upon graduation that I needed a B.S.N. to continue my career, and move toward my goal of advanced practice in nursing. I pursued my degree in Boston, but due to financial strain returned to New York to work as a R.N. and attend Adelphi. I completed my B.S.N., while working as an R.N. with an A.S. degree.
Do you have favorite memories of your time at Adelphi and your residencies?
I found great teachers and mentors at Adelphi, including Dr. Judy Ackerhold and Dr. Anice Campagna. These professors shaped my future in nursing. Their knowledge, experience and vision of where nurses should be were truly inspirational. Dr. Dorothea Hays was my thesis adviser and brought out my best work. I won an award for my master’s project on Infertility and the Grief Response. This topic was a personal struggle for me, and I am now the mother of twin boys!
What advice would you give to today’s nursing students?
Don’t be afraid to try new experiences; they are cumulative, and they build on your career. Once you choose an area of interest, immerse yourself in that specialty – become the expert.
Be ready on the front line. As nurses, we have the most important role in advocating for the patient so they receive safe and comprehensive care. Think outside the box. Ask yourself what is going on with this patient, what more can be done for the best outcome?