NATIONAL NURSES WEEK: Cheryle Phenicie, R.N.
Nyack’s School of Nursing: Namesake of Cheryl Phenicie, R.N.
Cheryl Phenicie’s interest in nursing emerged during her childhood when she would help her dad with his backdoor clinic in Burkina Faso, Africa.
That homegrown passion for serving others set the stage for the preparation she would receive at Nyack College. The 1980 Nyack alumna earned an undergraduate degree in social science and went on to earn her nursing degree at another school. She, like many Nyack alumni, is rejoicing over her alma mater’s milestone as the doors of the new School of Nursing open. And her alma mater is also celebrating her and the way God’s calling on her life has evolved. On October 8, 2010, the Cheryl Phenicie School of Nursing will be dedicated on the Rockland County campus.
After embarking on her career as a registered nurse in the United States, Cheryl and her husband Darrell moved to the Middle East to continue their lives of service. She founded Sidon Alliance Prenatal Clinic in Sidon, Lebanon, which led to her being recognized by the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) during the organization’s 2003 Christian Higher Education Month. Her superior standard of care—emotional and physical—attracted masses of women and babies from the poorest of the population in Sidon.
Describing her experience of working with the Lebanese women she said, “Many times, by just simply giving them a hug and telling them that I love them, the tears begin to flow. Perhaps, for them, the thought that an American woman would leave her country and come to help them and love them, is even more meaningful. When they praise me for my love and character, it is a perfect opportunity to tell them about the source of that love: Jesus!”
The articulation of the call to nursing is probably best summed up in Cheryl’s words: “In an age where human voice and human touch have been replaced by automated machines, there is perhaps nothing more soothing or healing than these two things: Nursing is an avenue whereby we can reach out to people in need and show them mercy and love through our touch and our words. The art of nursing is a powerful way to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world and it will be nurtured in a Christian environment like Nyack College, where students are integrating their faith with a practical skill to reach this world for Christ.”
Today, although much of her work does not include nursing, it is in those medical venues that she feels most alive and passionate. “My Nyack education provided a wonderful foundation for the life God called me to later on in life.” With a broad liberal arts education, yet a biblical basis in all subjects, Cheryl sees that her years at Nyack gave her a worldview that has seen her through 27 years of service in the Middle East.
Cheryl Phenicie will be the keynote speaker for Founder’s Day Chapel as campus administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and students are joined by government officials and community leaders for the nursing school dedication and reception during Homecoming 2010.
Academically excellent. Globally engaged. Intentionally diverse. Personally transforming. Socially relevant. Each Nyack core value is a descriptor that could suitably follow the initials behind Cheryl Phenicie’s name—a trailblazer for Nyack nurses. -- Deborah Walker
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