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“Time management has been my best friend,” says Nurse of the Week Cailly Simpson. Although she left nursing in 2017 to study law at Rutgers, when the pandemic hit, the 26-year-old immediately felt an instinctive need to help. While continuing to work two days a week at a law firm and attending six hours of classes, the future malpractice lawyer wielded her time management skills and expanded her schedule to add four 12-hour shifts a week at NYU Langone Health.

Langone was familiar ground to Simpson, who worked there in the pulmonary and step-down units after receiving her nursing degree in 2016.  The decision to make a two-month return to nursing—despite being just a few months away from finishing her legal studies—was not difficult. Simpson told, “I felt like this was something that needed to happen. I went to nursing school with the thought process that I wanted to help people and take care of patients so that’s just kind of how my brain works.”

Simpson’s shifts as a float nurse were grueling, and she saw little of her boyfriend, family, or friends during her COVID nursing stint. However, revisiting her old profession has its rewards: “People truly want to help. They want to send these people home to their families. The attitudes with everyone I have come into contact with is what really has struck me. Everyone has every right to be completely terrified and not want to do this and complain about it. That was never ever the case. I never came across that. Everyone was always up and ready to help and wanted to be there giving it their all. Walking into that attitude made everything so much less scary.”

Summing up her eight-week combination of law studies with nursing on the COVID frontline, Simpson told the Rutgers Law newsletter, “It was hard to balance with finishing up law school but I would not have changed my decision for anything. I have truly enjoyed being back, even during such challenging times. The nurses were incredibly thankful for all the extra help they received. . .  They are incredible individuals who have powered through this crisis with a smile on their faces the whole time and have continued to put patient care first.”

For a full story and interview with Cailly Simpson, visit

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