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Jennifer Lissette Yepez, BSN, RN

Jennifer Lissette Yepez, BSN, RN

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Staff Nurse
NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Vanderbilt

Family plays a vital role in Jennifer Lissette Yepez’s nursing career, and it was concern for her family’s health that led her to the profession.

“What inspired me to become a nurse was my dad; he was diagnosed as a diabetic and had a difficult time managing his health,” she explains. “I remember always wanting to help him and my mom better understand their health. I felt it was important because I felt I could make a difference in not only their lives but that of many other patients who struggle with understanding and managing their health.”

“One very important factor is the support of my family and coworkers, which enable me to be a great nurse,” she continues. “The support of my son and daughter throughout my nursing career has been so empowering. They look up at me during my tired nights, as I sit at the table doing my nursing assignments to further my degree, and just look at me with such admiration. This is what keeps me going. The support received from my team at work also helps me be a great nurse.”

Yepez has been a nurse for 17 years, nine of them with NYC Health + Hospitals, where she currently serves as an Ambulatory Care Staff Nurse for Gotham Health, Vanderbilt. She says this role allows her to use her personal strengths to help her patients, including being empathetic, compassionate, attentive, action oriented and having a good sense of humor.

“When I think of some of the best moments in my nursing career, I think of the moments in which I have helped some of my patients, especially at the very moment they needed someone,” she shares. “I was there to carry them, to carry their fears and just listen to their heartfelt cries for help, even the silent cries.”

“I had a patient who had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and was at a point in her life where she was just emotionally and mentally broken and scared; she felt lost; yet I walked over to just hug her and listen,” she continues. “Providing emotional support to my patients is something that brings a smile to my heart.”

Yepez also points to the pandemic as having a profound impact on her nursing career. “Having the opportunity to be on the frontlines and make a difference during the scary and uncertain times we all faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – being able to care for and provide hope for patients – brought such comfort and inspired me to keep going out on the frontlines,” she notes. “It reminded me again of why I love nursing. It is an unforgettable experience.”

NYC Health + Hospitals ICARE values are all key principles to Yepez. “I feel that compassion most closely aligns with my personal philosophy and approach to nursing,” she remarks. “I feel that compassion is the true act of ‘listening’ to our patients to truly ‘understand’ them. Compassion sets the tone and invites the patient to build trust, therefore providing the opportunity for one to practice the other I-CARE values combined. Compassion is looking for ways to go above and beyond to impact the lives of our patients positively.”

Looking to the future, Yepez says she sees new technologies becoming important. “I see a rise in the specialty of nursing informatics,” she states. “The virtual aspect and technology are becoming a big part of the nursing profession. I plan on adapting by continuing my education, perhaps aiming towards assisting in the learning and development of new programs.”

Learn more about our Nursing Excellence Award Winners