Robert (Robbie) Freeman, R.N., B.S.’10

Focusing on Patient Safety

By Carol Olechowski

Robert (Robbie) Freeman, R.N., B.S.’10

Photo credit: Mount Sinai Beth Israel

As a human-biology major and psychology minor at the University at Albany, Robbie Freeman completed a community-service internship that transformed his life. “I volunteered at Albany Medical Center’s ER and heart-transplant unit,” he recalled, “and was amazed by the clinical knowledge and bedside manner of the nurses. I realized quickly that nursing was the right profession for me.” 

In fact, Freeman went on to graduate from New York’s Phillips Beth Israel School of Nursing (PBISN). Hired at Beth Israel Medical Center, he won its 2011 Novice Nurse Award. Freeman used the award money to create Nurse Net, a free, interactive application that allows users to access information ranging from nursing and medical abbreviations to news.  

“Once I had the concept, I worked with a friend with app-development experience. It took about 12 weeks to get the app operational and approved by Apple. Nurse Net works on any Apple iOS device (iPhone or iPad). There’s no special equipment needed, and it can be downloaded from the Apple store like any other app,” Freeman explained. 

By May 2014, Nurse Net had been downloaded more than 200,000 times.

Freeman received an M.S. in nursing from Excelsior College in Albany, a distance-learning program, in 2013. He remains at what is now Mount Sinai Beth Israel as a clinical nurse specialist – medical surgical quality, “a leadership position with a focus on patient safety.” The Brooklyn resident also participates in the Google Glass Explorers program, consulting regularly with other healthcare professionals “to pilot ways we can use the technology to improve patient outcomes.” 

The courses he took at UAlbany “laid a great foundation for my nursing and pharmacology classes,” added Freeman, 30, who won an athletics scholarship and competed on the University’s cross country and indoor and outdoor track teams. “Being an athlete and part of an incredible team that won numerous conference titles showed me that we can achieve great things together. In the hospital setting, we also depend on the performance of the entire team; teamwork and communication are key. The stakes are higher. A win for us is delivering excellent patient- and family-centered care each day.”