Nursing Alumni

Courtney Abbatiello '19
Courtney Abatiello

  • Graduated in May 2019 with a BS in nursing and a minor in University Scholars 
  • Employed as an RN in the Emergency Department at North Shore University Hospital, part of Northwell Health

Advice for current students

My advice to current Decker students would be to have FUN!!! Nursing school is so tough and time flies by -- before you know it, all the stress will be over and you'll be an RN, so enjoy the time in college while you can. Spend your free time with friends and doing things you enjoy! It will help you get through the stress and will create memories you'll reflect upon forever. Your hard work will pay off!

Do not be afraid to ask questions and take every opportunity in clinical to get your hands on something new. Lastly, take studying for the NCLEX seriously. I always just wanted to be on the other side already with my license and couldn't imagine what it was like, but now I am here and you will be soon too!

Favorite memory

I can't really pick out one specific favorite memory, but probably growing so close to the people in my program and having friends who truly understand what you're going through. Nursing friends are the best!

Edwin Torres '10, MS '14
Edwin Torres

  • Graduated in 2010 with a BS in nursing, 2014 with an MS in nursing, and am a current PhD student in nursing
  • Employed as a community health NP at Montefiore Medical Center

Advice for current students

The advice I would give a current student is to "keep it pushing." They are on track to an incredible career that is rewarding at many levels. Sometimes when you are focused on a particular task (for example, all the schoolwork), it might seem impossible to get to the finish line, but it can be done and you will get there. Think of your education as a pizza pie that you cannot eat as a whole pie in one sitting, but if you take it by slices, before you know it, it is over.

Make sure you take advantage of the faculty at Decker; they are very passionate about teaching, and this is something I used when I was trying to find my career path. I remember working as an undergrad with Yvonne Johnston on a project related to diabetes, and that sparked my interest in this area of work. As a master's student, I learned from Gale Spencer and Sharon Bryant how to look at the patient from a public health view. We have talented faculty, and students shouldn't be shy to get out there and see who can help you with your interest.

Career trajectory

As many of the students who are aspiring to be a nurse, I was an intra-university transfer (IUT) student to Decker from Harpur. I was denied at the beginning, but that did not deter me from continuing to applying to Decker and ultimately becoming a nurse.

After graduating, I worked at Upstate Medical Center in the telemetry unit, then I left to NYC and worked at Lenox Hill. There I worked initially medical surgery and then rotated to medicine, ED, orthopedic and urology floors. I enjoyed working, and the interaction with patients, but my calling was to help patients diagnosed with diabetes.

I started the community health program in 2014, and while working the master's program I was able to take some of the PhD courses. Currently, I am working at Montefiore Medical Center in the endocrine division, helping patients manage their diabetes diagnosis.

I have been fortunate to find people who love the same work I do, and they truly make this journey more enjoyable. The next step is to finish the PhD and become a faculty, practitioner and researcher in the area of diabetes related to social determinants of health, "the trifecta."

Edwin-Nikko R. Kabigting '13, MS/certificate '16, PhD '19
Edwin-Nikko Kabigting

  • Graduated in 2013 with a BS in nursing, a BA in philosophy and a certificate in forensic health; 2016 with a MS in nursing and a certificate in nursing education; and 2019 with a PhD in nursing
  • Employed as an assistant professor at Adelphi University's College of Nursing and Public Health

Advice for current students

My first piece of advice is to not be afraid to go to your professors' office hours. It helps you in terms of learning the material and you get to know your professors! Knowing your professors is advisable since down the line you might need them for a recommendation for an internship, capstone clinical or a future position. If they know you, it will be easier for them to write about you!

My second piece of advice is to have fun. Treasure the friendships and memories that you will create during your time at Decker, whether it be with your peers or professors.

Career trajectory

Edwin-Nikko R. Kabigting, PhD, RN-BC is an Assistant Professor in the Foundations in Adult Nursing Practice Department at Adelphi University’s College of Nursing and Public Health (CNPH).

Kabigting earned his bachelor of science in nursing, bachelor of arts in philosophy, certificate in forensic health of adults, master of science in community health nursing, graduate certificate of advanced study in nursing education, and doctor of philosophy in nursing from Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing.  

At Binghamton, he studied with world-renowned nurse theorist, Rosemarie Rizzo Parse. Kabigting is a Parse Scholar and uses the humanbecoming paradigm (Parse, 2014) in his scholarship and educational work. He is a respected scholar in national and international arenas where he focuses on the investigation of universal living experiences and unique nursing knowledge guided by Parse’s humanbecoming paradigm. His most recent work has focused on the universal humanuniverse living experience of feeling overwhelmed in a population of individuals who were receiving or providing services to HIV/AIDS patients. He serves as the copyeditor for references in the international peer-reviewed journal, Nursing Science Quarterly.

Before coming to Adelphi, Kabigting taught at Binghamton University at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level in the areas of theoretical foundations, conceptual analysis, nursing research, qualitative research, fundamentals of nursing, nursing assessment, professional development, leadership, simulation and community/public health nursing. Kabigting is a board certified (RN-BC) Nursing Professional Development Specialist through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). 

Clinically, he previously worked as a registered nurse in the observation unit of the emergency department, telemetry/stroke unit, geriatrics and in post-acute care. Kabigting has served in several leadership roles as a nurse, including as unit practice council chair and as a member of a hospital-wide patient excellence team on issues related to the delivery of person-centered care. 

Jenny Kornblatt Kirschenbaum '13
Jenny Kirschenbaum

Advice for current students

Network! Making connections and exploring any avenue available is the best way to open doors. My career has taken so many twists and turns and I'm thankful to every opportunity and person I met that led me to where I am.

Go to network events, conferences, continuing education, anything available to you. Keep in touch with the people you meet and learn all you can -- nursing is a field of endless opportunities and you never know what can spark your interest. 

Career trajectory

As a new grad I started as a cardiothoracic ICU nurse in Northwell Health System and stayed doing that for about four years. While working full time I also kept a per-diem gig in the cath lab at NYP Columbia. I transitioned to care management about two years ago as a management opportunity and a chance to be involved in another aspect of patient care.

In six short years as a nurse I've explored care of cardiac surgery patients, interventional cardiology, diabetes education, advanced care planning, discharge planning and utilization management.  Where is my career going? I have NO idea, and that's the best part of nursing! There are lots of different avenues I'm exploring right now, all thanks to connections and networks I've built. Be excited, you are entering a career path of endless opportunities.

Favorite memory of your time in Decker

My favorite memory by far was when I had the opportunity to observe a transplant procurement with Michael Garlough, who had done a lecture for us on organ transplant. I was really inspired after the lecture to learn more about his role as a transplant coordinator. We ended up sharing contact information and then he asked me if I wanted to come observe! I stayed up all night observing the entire process from start to finish and to this day it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. It sparked my initial interest in critical care and my passion for transplant advocacy! Just another example of the beauty of networking :)

Julius Johnson '05, MS '09
Julius Johnson

  • Graduated in 2005 with a BS in nursing and 2009 with as MS in nursing in the FNP program
  • Employed as an assistant professor and director of the FNP program at Long Island University Brooklyn 
  • CEO of Premium Health Depot, Family Health NP, LLP
  • Co-Founder and president, Dr Nurses ( 

Advice for current students

Nursing doesn’t begin or end at the bedside. We are involved in every facet of healthcare, from the community, to the schools, to policy, to the bedside, we are there. Never let anyone stop you from dreaming and chasing after your goals. Grow with nursing. 

Career trajectory

I started off in housecalls as an advanced practice nurse. That led to me specializing in home based primary care as well as transitional care interventions to reduce to high risk patients from readmissions. I currently own my own practice, Premium Health Depot, and I plan on growing it and expanding it while sustaining Premium Health initiatives for every member of every community. My goal of creating health equity in the communities with the highest disparities drives me. I’m also working with a team on creating the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at LIU Brooklyn to help continue to grow our degree and be a trail blazer in the role of the DNP in the world. 

Favorite moment

I have two. One is the last night my group studied together our senior year. We laughed and cried about the adversities we had been through together in Decker and at Binghamton. While the program was tough on us (nothing great comes easy), it prepared us to face anything in the nursing world. We shared so many dreams about what we would do after graduation. The kind of nurses we would be. The lives we would help to save. That night can carry me through the darkest times. 

The second favorite memory was when I received an award at graduation for my community service work and contribution to the community with an organization called JUMP Nation. The professors could not understand why I wasn’t attached to the nursing building like so many other nursing students. But a month before graduation the local news had did a special on Jump Nation and highlighted the work we did. The professors were astonished that I had found time to balance both nursing and the tireless work of Jump Nation. 

Lauren Weiss-Siegel '84
Lauren Siegel

  • Graduated in 1984 with a BS in nursing
  • President and owner of LJS Health Management, Inc. since 1995

 Advice for current students

Embrace opportunities for personal and professional growth. Be sure to evolve and adapt to changes in the healthcare industry.

Fun fact

Her husband and son both graduated from Binghamton University!

Meghan Brill '15
Meghan Brill

  • Graduated in 2015 with a BS in nursing
  • Employed as a charge RN in the Emergency Department at Cone Health in Greensboro, NC

Advice for current students

Have fun in school! Trust me, as long as you pass your classes and the NCLEX, everything will fall into place. Never once have I been asked what my GPA is when applying for jobs! Also, remember that life doesn't go in the perfectly straight line you imagined it would. Don't be too hard on yourself. Finally, don't be afraid to spread your wings, try a new specialty, or a new state.

Career trajectory

While at Binghamton, I had decided to move south, aiming for either North Carolina, South Carolina or Tennessee. I flew down to Winston Salem, NC, the March before I graduated and nailed an interview in the NICU on nights. I moved Memorial Day weekend 2015. I passed my NCLEX on a Tuesday in mid-June 2015 in NC, and was supposed to start working a few days later, on Monday. The hospital I was hired for went into a hiring freeze the Friday before I was due to start. They pushed my start date back two weeks, which turned into two months. Luckily, once the freeze was up, my job was still available.

I worked full time in the NICU for 1.5 years, then transitioned to the ED, where I started doing charge. I stayed in the ED for another 1.5 years. I then decided to travel nurse with Medical Solutions, but only did two contracts. I absolutely loved travel nursing and wish I could have done it longer! My boyfriend at the time asked me to come back to NC and move in with him. I began in my current role in March 2019, in the ED with Cone Health. My boyfriend then became my fiance, so Greensboro, NC, is officially my home now! I am planning to sit for the CEN exam in early October and I am planning to do a MSN/MHA program next fall (2020). 

Favorite memory

It was an ongoing joke in the BAT program: I always finished every test first we took. On the last exam we took in the program, everyone started clapping when I turned in my test. It was a great feeling!