Visiting Nurse Service of New York

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York is the largest not-for-profit home and community health care agency in the United States, and we’re one of the oldest. We’ve been part of the fabric of New York City since 1893. That’s longer than the subway system, before the Yankees and only 10 years after the Brooklyn Bridge opened.

While our patients and their needs have changed over the years, our commitment to the people who need our care hasn’t. Our programs are designed to help patients improve their quality of life, and to reduce the number and length of hospitalizations.

Despite our long history, we are always looking to the future. As medical science advances and health care regulations change, we see numerous opportunities to develop programs that address the needs of our patients.

Vanessa Boyce, RN, CHPN

Vanessa started reading medical books at the age of 9, and has always been fascinated with nursing and healthcare. She works in home hospice both in Manhattan and her home borough of Brooklyn, and finds it interesting that different patient populations can have such varied approaches to death and dying. Her grandmother was often vocal about her end-of-life wishes, and she strives to be the same way with her own family.

Cassandra Collins, RN, BSN, CHPN

Cassandra says she didn’t choose a career in Hospice nursing, rather it chose her. She helps her community overcome common misconceptions about end of life care, including issues of religion. Personally, she is also struggling with the decision to speak with her own father about his end of life wishes.

Mohammad Afzal Khan, RN

The son of a Pakistani diplomat, Mohammad lived all over the world and trained in several professions before arriving in the US. He worked as a New York cab driver during the AIDS crisis, and would pick up and assist ailing AIDS patients when other cabbies refused. Those experiences inspired him to become a home hospice nurse.

Gilbert Oakley, RN

When Gilbert first encountered hospice nurses, he was a bit taken aback by their open and “creative” approach to end-of-life care. However, as both a nurse and a patient, he feels it is necessary to make healthcare as human an experience as possible. He has shared many personal and intimate moments with his terminally ill patients, and helped them meet their end-of-life goals, no matter how specific or individualized those goals may be.