Maryellin Flynn, ‘11

“I sincerely believe the program’s tireless advocacy for all humankind is the cornerstone to nursing excellence.” 

Better health for all – not only is this Yale University School of Nursing’s driving philosophy, but the driving factor that behind Maryellin Flynn’s commitment to the program. “I sincerely believe the program’s tireless advocacy for all humankind is the cornerstone to nursing excellence,” Flynn said. 

While in high school, Flynn aspired to be a veterinarian and worked as a lab tech in a veterinarian hospital. “I enjoyed the lab component, phlebotomy, casting and assisting in surgery, but in retrospect, I really loved the emergencies most,” Flynn recalled. After a personal encounter with paramedics while a family member was experiencing an emergency medical situation, Flynn claims she “was hooked.” 

“When the paramedics arrived, I was awed by their sense of calm and control,” Flynn remembered. 

This calm and controlled demeanor is something Flynn began to develop as her relationship with Yale grew. Shortly after she graduated from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Flynn worked with in-patient pediatric wards at Yale-New Haven Hospital and went on to spend eight years in the pediatric emergency department. 

“When I left YNHH to focus on raising my three children, I had the intention to return to pursue an advanced degree in emergency/trauma nursing,” Flynn said. Instead she found herself inspired by Jill Vaughn Tesei, a local YSN APRN preceptor, who treats children suffering from anxiety disorders. Once again, Flynn was hooked; this time, it was the idea of focusing on psychology that peaked her interest. “With further research, I discovered a growing field in which APRN’s were actively pioneering new roles for treating children with tremendous need while actively collaborating with physicians, social workers, teachers and others.” 

Flynn admits that pursuing an advanced degree while raising three children has been a challenge. When it comes to balancing the roles of a full time mother and part time student, Flynn attributes her years of ER experience as an essential element to managing it all. “It certainly helps with prioritizing, working efficiently, and ‘triaging’ dinner, play dates, homework, and maintaining a household!”