65 over 65 - Dr. Linda Podolak
Congratulations to Dr. Linda Podolak, one of the distinguished honorees that will be recognized throughout the year culminating in a state-wide celebration at CLN's 65th Jubilee Luncheon to be held on June 1, 2018.
Pearl of Wisdom
“ The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change(Heraclitus, Greek philosopher). Embrace change. Be open and learn from your experiences. There is always something positive to gain from even the most difficult experiences.”
About the Honoree
Dr. Linda Podolak is truly an advocate and educator, which are evident throughout her long history at Bridgeport Hospital tirelessly serving patients and supporting nurses, nursing faculty and student nurses.
Today, in a time of healthcare transformation, nursing education in the 21st century faces a number of challenges. Linda embraced these changes and was instrumental in Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing (BHSN) reaching a crossroad ending the era of a diploma nursing education and transitioning to a bachelor’s degree at the University of Bridgeport. Her high standard of excellence is the reason BHSN is closing with national recognition and her footsteps lead the legacy of the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing.
Linda’s nursing career started from the time she was capped, leaving her imprint in the history of Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing. She graduated magna cum laude from BHSN in 1970 and began working at Bridgeport Hospital in the Intensive Care & Coronary Care Units caring for medical, cardiac, neurological, and surgical adult and pediatric patients.
Within 4 years, she soon became Nurse Manager of the Coronary Intensive Care Unit. In 1977 she established the first course in Fairfield County on the theory & clinical operation of the Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump used for critical cardiac patients.
She returned to school and achieved a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Sacred Heart University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the Florence Nightingale Award for the 2nd highest in her nursing class. She continued her education receiving her MSN degree at Yale University and is board certified as an Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Linda continued to influence nursing by teaching in the nursing education department at Bridgeport Hospital. She co-developed the critical care classes and the first Mentorship Program in 1983. She established the first Critical Care Procedure Committee for Adult and Maternal Child Care areas with the goal of evidence-based standardized procedures. She later assumed the role of Patient Care Services Administrative Manager on the night and evening shifts and was part of the code and trauma team.
Linda’s love for education brought her to her alma mater BHSN, as faculty, and returned to school achieving her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in clinical leadership from Case Western Reserve University in 2009. Soon she became Associate Director of the school where she influenced curriculum and day-to-day operations. She contributed to maintaining a successful RN Program Licensure renewal and successful continuance of school accreditation.
Finally, she rose to the Director of BHSN. Linda maintained the high standards of the school and was instrumental in achieving the #2 rated two-year nursing school in the country recognized by Nursing Schools Almanac for 2016. Her dedication to the school is exceptional and remarkable.