Lienhard School of Nursing alumna Una Hopkins, DNP, '12, has made a difference in critical patient care and clinical research throughout her 36 years in the field. Una was enrolled in LSN’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program under the leadership of Joanne Singleton, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, and felt the support of her fellow students and faculty every step of the way. Una is currently the Director of Nursing Research at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York.
Una's career has led her down many different paths, all of which have allowed her to influence the care of patients in many ways. Una started her journey as a registered nurse on the oncology floor at Westchester County Medical Center, working the night shift for several years along with 13 shifts a month. This resulted in Una missing many holidays, but it also allowed her to find her passion, working with patients and their families. “These were some of the best times; being there for patients that could not be with their families was such a privilege. It was during these times when I realized how important my work as a nurse was, touching lives and being with people during their most vulnerable times.”
As a driven medical professional with the goal of making a difference in patients' lives, Una continued her career and began to participate in clinical trials for people diagnosed with HIV. While working at Montefiore, she ran clinical trials for many years. “I was fortunate enough to work with a physician and participate in clinical trials that changed the fate of HIV from a death sentence to a chronic illness like asthma and diabetes. This is what ignited my passion for clinical research.”
“I was fortunate enough to work with a physician and participate in clinical trials that changed the fate of HIV from a death sentence to a chronic illness like asthma and diabetes. This is what ignited my passion for clinical research.”
As a result, Una has focused the remainder of her career on research. She has participated in studying many diseases ranging from breast, lung, head, and neck cancers, all while continuing her work in the field of HIV cancers such as lymphoma and Kaposi’s.
Una’s passion for all aspects of the medical field did not end there; she then moved into administration and aided in the creation of the Center for Cancer Care in White Plains, including bringing research to the community setting. She eventually found herself back at Montefiore to develop a nursing research program and facilitate the magnet journey. Along the way she has played her part in teaching students at both NYU and at Pace.
As an inspiring medical professional, Una recommends working at Montefiore to all students. “Like many health systems, Montefiore is large and affords many opportunities to advance one's career. The bedside nurse has a voice and a seat at important tables through shared governance,” said Una.