Sharon Simmonds, RN
Sharon Simmonds, RN
Staff Nurse, Women’s Health Services
NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx
28 years of service
“I believe that our health care system needs a lot of policy change, and the best way to make that change is from the inside out.”
For Sharon Simmonds, connecting with patients and the community is one of the true joys of the nursing profession.
“My approach to patient care is truly listening and finding what is ailing the patient,” she says, “Even if it is beyond the scope of women’s health, I believe in finding a way to connect the patient with the service they may need. I take an open, honest approach and develop good rapport with my patients. This is a community that I care about and want to see thrive, so if that means staying with a laboring patient two to three hours after my shift to give her the support and comfort of a familiar face, I do not hesitate.”
Simmonds was inspired to become a nurse from childhood. “My grandmother and aunt were midwives,” she says. “At age 10, I requested that I be the one to stay with my dying 104-year-old great-grandmother – keeping her mouth moist until her last breath and assisting with postmortem care. From that time, I knew I had to be in a profession where I could help patients in their most vulnerable moments by caring for them with love.”
She initially attended Hunter College but transferred to Borough of Manhattan Community College on a full scholarship for the nursing program. Her brother, Dr. Maurice Wright of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem, urged her to join the system as a way to be of service to the community, so she joined NYC Health + Hospitals/North Central Bronx.
Simmonds says her strengths include a “caring heart, kindness and a quick ability to adapt to any situation,” including the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was challenging to face viruses – Ebola and now COVID-19 – but I never let this hold me back,” she says. “I pray a lot. I wash my hands a lot. I was able to manage my fear and come to work with the same strong heart and desire to care for anyone who walked through the doors, no matter what.”