News & Press: Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight on Nannette Hyland, PT, PhD

Sunday, June 30, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mariann Kayser
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Nannette Hyland, PT, PhD

Mercy College

Program Director



July 2019


Nannette Hyland has been a member of NYPTA since 1989 when she was a student. She is proud to say that while her involvement as a member may have fluctuated through the years because of life changes, she never let her membership lapse. She found her calling early during her studies and, after 28 years, has never regretted her decision to become a physical therapist. Nannette is passionate about the PT profession and strongly believes in the #bettertogether movement.  A personal medical experience helped her gain an even greater appreciation of the impact PTs can have on the patient and how to focus on what's truly important in life. 


Please take a few minutes and get to know this month's member spotlight with us! Enjoy the Q&A with Nannette below.




How long have you been a member of the NYPTA? What is your best experience thus far?


I have been a member of the NYPTA since 1989 as a student.  I have never let my membership lapse; however, my involvement over the years has ebbed and flowed with life changes. Some of my best experiences to date revolve around being a NY Delegate to the APTA’s House of Delegates.  I meet new people from New York each year and together we help to shape our profession!


Tell us a little about your background, and how your path led you to where you are in your career today. What’s your favorite moment of your career so far? 


I grew up in Brockport, NY.  I was exposed to physical therapy in high school when my cousin sustained a spinal cord injury from skiing.  At that time, my high school guidance counselor did not know much about the field and kept pointing me to medical school.  After shadowing an MD for a day at our community hospital, I realized that medical school was not my calling.  I was lucky in knowing what field I wanted back then.  After 28 years as a physical therapist, I have never regretted my decision.


I first started practicing in the field of adult rehabilitation at Helen Hayes Hospital.  I loved being able to learn and grow from my patients.  My career took a change when I had a family and I started to teach thinking that I would stay in academia until my kids were in school.  However, I fell in love with being able to influence a large number of future physical therapists.  I kept my hands in the clinical world with per diem, private clients and part-time work until I became the Program Director.  While I miss patient care, I now love to participate in community health screenings.  Participating on a medical mission to the Dominican Republic was one of the most impactful moments of my career.


What are some of the key opportunities and challenges facing the physical therapy profession?


There are many opportunities for our profession.  The Surgeon General, Jerome Adams, supports physical therapy, providing us, just as one example, an opportunity to create a collaborative relationship that positively impacts society.  I also feel that we have started to get away from the historical silo approach of physical therapy and work more in collaboration with other professionals.  I chose my first place of employment based upon the culture of the facility working together in a healthcare team.  #bettertogether


What advice would you give NYPTA members who are new to the profession?


My advice to others is to know your balance and remember why you wanted to become a physical therapist in the first place.  It is easy to let technology (EMR) and productivity rule your day and detract you from the things that really matter, the individuals lives who we touch.  Remember to take time to connect with your patients and yourself.  This gives us purpose and keeps us balanced.


What is a favorite tip you have that you could share with others in our industry?


I am not the tip guru that is for sure – I am always looking for one.  The greatest thing that I have ever figured out was having all of my calendars sync together so I can see everything in one place on my phone!!!


What are you passionate about?


I am passionate about our profession – physical therapy is such as great field.  I hear talk about “Is the money worth it, should we steer individuals into other healthcare fields?”  This saddens me.  Our profession can really change lives in different ways than other health care professions and we cannot lose touch with that.


What else would you like your fellow NYPTA Members to know about you?


In 2018 I battled Stage 2B HER2 +/ ER+ breast cancer.  While I do not want to be identified as a cancer survivor, this will always be a part of me.  Treating the whole person and developing a strong trust bond with my patients had always been important to me.  In 2018, the importance of the therapeutic alliance really hit home.  Experiencing it to such a degree on the patient side opened my eyes on how much of an impact we can have on someone outside of the “intervention”.  This experience also helped me focus on what is truly important and not sweat the small stuff.


What is your favorite app or social media outlet?


Twitter is more my thing.  I have a Facebook account; however, I can go 2 – 3 months before I open it.  I find that I get lost in looking at everything and then I get stressed about how much time I spent.  Twitter gives me a snippet of information and takes me less time to browse through each day.


What is your guilty pleasure?


Sitting on the front porch sipping a cold drink while petting the family cat.  I could do that for hours on a nice day.






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