PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. -- For Lynet Agrawal, graduation this year is a bittersweet experience.
While the nurse practitioner is thrilled to know she will soon have her doctorate, the highest degree one can have in nursing, she wishes her great aunt Marjorie Ramphal could share this joy with her.
Ramphal, a former dean of the Lienhard School of Nursing at Pace University, where Agrawal obtained her master’s degree in 2002 and more recently studied for her doctorate, died several years ago, but the loss is still greatly felt. Agrawal describes her as “one in a million stars and a very special person.”
“I’ve taken her path and miss her so much; I wish she was here,” she says.
Agrawal notes that obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is no easy task. “It’s been a tough road while working full time at Einstein’s Emergency Room, precepting Nurse Practitioner students and working at my solo practice, and managing a family, but I completed it and I’m really happy. I know that anything worthwhile takes time and effort.”
Agrawal was very close to Ramphal.
“We lived five minutes away, and she didn’t have kids of her own, but was very close to my siblings and me. She worried about us like her children," she said. "And, boy did we make her worry! She influenced us so much - we now have three nurses in the family; my brother is an orthopedic spine surgeon. She had an amazing personality - she was giving, loving, and honest. It’s hard to find people like her nowadays. She believed in treating everyone as an individual with respect and care.”
Ramphal volunteered even after retirement to help take care of people.
“She was dedicated and loyal," Agrawal said. "She took care of the people in her community. She was in a retirement home and became president of the association there. Whenever anyone needed a ride, she would drive them. She was such a helpful person. She was giving and soft spoken and always had great advice. At the time that I became a nurse, she was the dean of Columbia’s nursing school; she was so proud of me. I’ll never forget that she said, ‘Lyn, you have to go further.’ And now I have.”