Growing up in the Bronx, Diana Rossi wasn’t sure what her career path would look like.
Of one thing she was certain: she loved helping people. It occurred to her that she could pursue a graduate degree in nursing, and so she enrolled at The College of New Rochelle.
Post-graduation, she accepted a position at Sound Shore Medical Center, first as an RN for the Coronary Care Unit and then as an ER nurse. She shared, “ER work is challenging, busy, and every day is different.” However, Ms. Rossi found that the schedule was taking its toll as she managed her growing family. “In order to balance childcare needs, I had been working nights and my husband was working days. Eventually, I decided that it was time to look at working more of a school schedule.”
She acted as a substitute nurse in White Plains for about a year, "just getting to know school nursing and to see whether it was something I wanted to pursue,” she explained. “It was a great experience.”
When Ms. Rossi heard about an opening at Windward, she applied and felt fortunate to land the position. After 10 years of working in an ER, she brought strong triage skills to the table, which came in useful. She noted, “You can spot something emergent and definitely know if someone is not as sick as they may think. You have to judge that carefully and still be human about it. Sometimes someone just needs a break and that’s fine!”
The best part of working for Windward, in Ms. Rossi’s eyes, has been the feeling that it is more than a job. “I feel that I’ve been able to help in the development of someone’s precious child. It’s been very rewarding to take that role.” Nurturing long-term relationships with students was a new experience for her as a nurse, and one that she found fulfilling. She said, “It’s been wonderful watching students throughout their stages of growth, as they come into their own, and their confidence and independence blossom. One year, I may see a child multiple times a day, but the next year I don’t. I always feel proud of their independence, but I also miss seeing them!”
Marilyn Hunt said of Ms. Rossi’s tenure, “The students, staff, faculty, and parents at Westchester Middle School have been blessed to have such a professional, caring nurse looking after our health and safety. Always willing to go above and beyond, Ms. Rossi has shown a strong commitment to our community, chaperoned many eighth-grade overnight trips, and fostered a feeling of security, knowing that the door to the health room was always open to anyone in need.”
Her colleague Colleen Iodice shared, “Diana has been a valued member of the health office at WMS since the campus opened its doors. Throughout her years at Windward, her warmth, compassion, and dedication to the students, faculty, and staff have been exceptional. She is an excellent nurse and a delightful person, and it has been an honor and a privilege to work with her and call her a friend.”
Ms. Rossi has many reasons to celebrate as she enters her retirement. Her oldest son Chris is expecting his first child this October, and Ms. Rossi and her husband of 33 years, Ronnie, look toward the arrival of their first grandchild with great excitement. Her younger son Mike just got engaged, so wedding festivities are in their future, as well. Finally, Ms. Rossi anticipates spending more time with family, enjoying get-togethers with her husband’s large extended family, traveling to tropical destinations, and doting on the new baby as much as possible.