Nurses Care 2021

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Mercy Hospital ICU Nurse Jordynne Copp. Photo courtesy of Mercy Hospital

Recognizing Nurses Week, May 6-12, and the work these superheroes do in our community all year round.

Nurses A Special Section of the Bangor Daily News • May 7, 2021


Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021

Simple ways to thank local nurses


Nurses have long been unsung heroes of the medical community. But that tide began to turn in 2020 as the world confronted the Covid-19 pandemic and realized just how invaluable nurses are to public health. According to the American Nurses Association, nearly 400 nurses in the United States died as a result of Covid-19 within eight months of a pandemic being declared in America. Globally, data from the International Council of Nurses indicated that roughly 1,500 nurses lost their lives to Covid-19 by the end of October 2020. That data is sobering and serves as a reminder that nurses put their lives on the line each day they go to work. Such sacrifices are worthy of widespread support, and there are many ways ordinary citizens can thank nurses working in their communities.

· Support efforts to protect nurses. Despite widespread recognition of how vital they are to public health, nurses still may not have unbridled access to personal protective equipment (PPE). An ANA survey of nurses working in various health care settings conducted in fall 2020 found that 42 percent of nurses indicated they were still experiencing widespread or intermittent PPE shortages. In fact, more than half of the 21,000-plus nurses surveyed reported that they were forced to reuse single-use PPE, a practice they said makes them feel unsafe. The public can do its part by urging local lawmakers to support legislation that increases domestic production of PPE so the brave men and women in the nursing profession can feel safe when doing their jobs.

· Give nurses and their families a night off from cooking.

Long shifts in stressful situations have taken a toll on nurses and their families. Neighbors can pitch in by offering to cook and deliver meals or pay for takeout for nurses and their families. This simple gesture can provide a much-needed break for nurses and their spouses who have been stretched thin during the pandemic, and it’s a great way to remind nurses their heroic efforts are not going unnoticed.

· Help out with chores. Before going to the grocery store, text or call a friend or neighbor in the nursing field to see if he or she needs anything from the store. If nurses shop online for their groceries, arrange to pick them up so nurses can spend more time relaxing at home with their families. During warm weather seasons, offer to mow the lawn or help with leaf pickup.

· Offer discounts to nurses in your community. Local business owners can do their part by offering discounts to nurses and other health care professionals in their communities. A 10 percent discount on a restaurant bill or a nursing discount on a fresh bouquet of flowers can lift nurses’ spirits and reassure them that their communities are behind them. Nurses have made immeasurable sacrifices throughout the pandemic. Communities can come together in various and often simple ways to show nurses just how much those sacrifices are appreciated.

Celebrating Nurses Week in a Year of

Incredible Resiliency and Service


During COVID-19, nurses at Mount Desert Island Hospital and around the globe have worked tirelessly to ensure that people who need help are cared for with compassion and expertise in an environment of constant change. “Our nurses are our seen and unseen healthcare heroes, battling the COVID-19 pandemic from the frontlines, adapting their practice daily,” said Karen Mueller, Chief Nursing Officer at MDI Hospital. “I thank our nurses for their commitment and resilience this past year.” The World Health Organization designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse and extended this honor into the 2021 calendar year to pay tribute to the immense resiliency that has been displayed by nurses worldwide. “Day after day our nurses have reported to work, regardless of the risk of possible COVID-19 or other infection. They’ve sacrificed their health to treat the larger community and devoted their time to maintain high levels of job

In tandem with other healthcare employees, nurses have pivoted their practice to re-learn and administer procedural change throughout this public health crisis. competence. Particularly over this last year, OB, family practice, emergency, med surg, and school nurses have displayed exemplary behavior for operating within the unknown,” said Mike Kiers, Director of Health Centers. In tandem with other healthcare employees, nurses have pivoted their practice to relearn and administer procedural change throughout this public health crisis. As they work through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, many nurses are also working towards clinical excellence in the form of program certifications, graduate and doctoral degrees, and many other professional growth opportunities. “By initiating fresh protocol to target and maintain COVID-19 safety precautions, a number of policies were devised by nurses for which best practice can be delivered to both patient and staff divisions. These policies continue to be modified regularly to maintain CDC and Maine-state standards. An immense volume of work, this team-wide collaboration is the only way to certify efficient and effective hospital care,” said Chris Costello, MS, RN, CEN, Director of Emergency Services at MDI Hospital. Operating on lengthy, concentrated shifts, nurses work tirelessly to map the designated needs for each patient on their service. Due to their devotion to clinical excellence and relationship building, nurses have become the gateway to care for many patients. Expressed as both an art and science, this pillar of nursing stands as “the art of providing compassionate care and the science for executing evidence-based practice,” said Mueller. “Nurses are truly the backbone of the healthcare system. Without the persistent advocacy of the nurse, patients may be without a voice. The nurse stands as a remarkable and unique position: pivoting between patient relationships and provider care. Their traits of generosity and kindness permit for the physical, mental, and emotional care for all they encounter. Thank you, nurses for all that you do!”

Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021



Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021

Celebrating MaineHealth Nurses:

Pursuing Excellence in their Profession COURTESY OF MAINEHEALTH

Across Maine’s largest integrated health network, thousands of nurses are bringing best practices in their field to the bedside and beyond in order to achieve MaineHealth’s mission of providing high-quality affordable care, educating tomorrow’s caregivers, and researching better ways to provide care. “Our nurses are so incredibly committed to their patients and their colleagues, it is an inspiration to witness their work each and every day,” said MaineHealth’s Chief Nursing Officer Marjorie Wiggins. “MaineHealth supports its nurses by working collaboratively with them to build a nursing culture that emphasizes patient centered care, shared decision making, education and training, and also career advancement.” Long recognized as the most trusted and respected profession in America according to the national polling firm Gallup, nurses have become even more prominent national heroes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day we

are reminded through headlines, social media posts and even handmade signs and thank you notes that nurses have always been working courageously at the front of the pandemic response effort. “Nurses are proving, yet again, why they are the most trusted and respected profession in America,” Wiggins said.

Nationally-Recognized Care

MaineHealth nurses recognize the key role they play within a complex and evolving health care system and respond to those challenges with professionalism, openness and patient centeredness. They care not only for their patients but also their fellow colleagues through coaching, mentoring, academic medicine and compassion. At Maine Medical Center and Mid Coast Hospital, for example, nurses at both locations have been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as having achieved Magnet status three consecutive times. This makes MMC and Mid Coast two of the few hospitals in the nation to repeatedly achieve this recognition for nursing excellence across a broad range of measures.

Nursing Voice and Empowerment

MaineHealth supports nurses and fosters their contributions to health outcomes and innovation through a variety of mechanisms, including shared governance, which creates formal ways for nurses to provide input into key decisions. MaineHealth also supports nurses who are experts in their fields and have ideas for improving care. Lori Klavoon, RN, a nurse at Pen Bay Medical Center, identified a need to better support new mothers who may require mental health support services. She started by developing a regional post-partum support group at Pen Bay and Waldo County General Hospital. She then helped create policies that screen and support mothers that have been scaled up across the health system. “The culture at Waldo County General Hospital, and throughout MaineHealth, encourages me to make a real difference for my patients,” said Klavoon. “After I gave birth to my daughter three years ago, I recognized a gap in our care. I made it my mission to close the gap.”

Community Heroes Clinical Nurse Educator Christine Schreiber, RN, accepts the “challenge coin” in recognition for her effort to save an injured motorist in the community last September. Presenting the challenge coin is MMC physician David Ciraulo, D.O.

MaineHealth Nurses routinely serve as volunteers while away from work to support their community through charity events, food banks, prescription drug take backs and much more. Nurses even step up in ways that no one could imagine.

Southern Maine Health Care RN Lail Fuller dons her personal protective equipment prior to a patient encounter. Last September Maine Medical Center Clinical Nurse Educator Christine Schreiber, RN, stopped to help a motorist who was seriously injured in a highway accident. Schreiber was credited with saving the individual’s life, a heroic act she was recently recognized for by the MMC Trauma Department. Schreiber received the Trauma “challenge coin” for her life-saving action. Giving Thanks to Nurses Through it all, MaineHealth Nurses provide compassionate care each and every day, no matter the challenge. They do what they do because they love caring for others. If you would like to thank a nurse from any MaineHealth location, please go to to post your message to MaineHealth’s public message board.

Nurses and respiratory therapists at Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, Maine, work with a mannequin to practice turning ventilated patients. Left to right: Patricia Kelley, RN; Candy Wentworth, RN; Ashley Valliere, RN; Peter Brooks, respiratory therapist; and Colleen Abbott, CNA.

Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021



Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021

Nurses Battle Covid-19 on the front line BY WANDA CURTIS

When Maine healthcare workers across the state began battling Covid-19 last year, the most difficult thing for many was working with the unknown. No one knew exactly how the virus would progress or which treatments would work. There was no FDA-approved drug available to treat the killer virus. Northern Light Mercy Hospital nurse Jordynne Copp said it was unsettling to work with those unknowns. Copp is a registered nurse who works in the intensive care unit at the Portland hospital where many Covid patients were treated during the past year. Cumberland county has reported some of the highest Covid numbers throughout the pandemic. “The Covid patients that we get in the intensive care unit are those who are experiencing respiratory distress/failure, which is a patient condition that we commonly treat in our unit,” said Copp. “The difference with the Covid patients in the beginning was the uncertainty of how their condition could change and what treatment would be beneficial for them. It was an unsettling feeling to have a condition in which we were unsure of what medication would be the most beneficial.” According to Copp, when the pandemic first began, they saw many Covid patients who were extremely ill. She said it seemed like they always had at least one or two patients in their unit who required mechanical ventilation because the virus had affected their lungs. She said that after the initial rush, things slowed down some. “In the ICU the most common care that we provide for our Covid patients is respiratory support,” said Copp. “These patients require high amounts of oxygen via a special type of nasal cannula or mechanical ventilation. There were multiple patients that developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)... In addition to respiratory treatment, these patients required interventions to combat the consequences of the virus such as organ dysfunction related to sepsis, or simply deconditioning from being in a hospital bed for so long.” Dealing with the unknown was difficult not only for the staff caring for Covid patients but also for patients and their families, said Copp. Patients were fearful because they had no idea how the disease would progress. She said that fear extended to their family members who were left wondering what was going to happen as well. “When Covid patients come into the ICU, I am sure that

they are terrified,” said Copp. “During the first hour of being admitted to the ICU you are bombarded with people trying to stabilize you and get you attached to all the monitoring equipment. Once you’re settled in ICU, the rest of your time is centered around the ICU team treating your illness and supporting your body as it fights the virus. The patient’s fear stems from the uncertainty of how their recovery will progress and for those requiring high amounts of oxygen, the horrible feeling of not being able to breathe. This overall fear is extended to the patient’s family members and is heightened by the fact that they are unable to visit their loved one in the hospital.” Unlike some healthcare workers in the U.S., Copp said she always had adequate protective equipment (PPE) to do her job. She said having the recommended PPE made her more comfortable performing her job. She said everyone in her unit has been very diligent about adhering to guidelines set in place by the CDC and the hospital. “At work I follow all the specified precautions for our

virus has been replaced with determination to help their patients recover and return home to their families. She said there was a feeling of hope when the number of cases began to decline. “During this past year, I have learned how quickly things can change and how important it is to be able to adapt to those changes that we are presented with on a daily basis,” said Copp. “I feel very grateful to have such an amazing team in the ICU. We truly relied on each other during this past year which helped combat the stress of working at a hospital during a pandemic. I believe one of the most frustrating parts of the pandemic for those working on the frontlines was hearing people say that this virus isn’t that bad or that it doesn’t even exist, because we are seeing it first-hand. This frustration still lingers. However it’s offset by seeing how much has changed and improved during these past few months.” Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center nurse Melissa Brautigam was responsible for supervising about 30 emergency room nurses this past year. In addition to her nurse manager responsibilities in the ER, she also floated to the intensive care unit. She said that another challenge nurses have faced during the pandemic is the inability to communicate face-to-face with patients and their families due to the need for masking. She said it’s also been difficult for patients, especially those who are hard of hearing, not to see someone’s face when trying to communicate. According to Brautigam, some patients who came to the emergency room with Covid were very ill and others were not that sick. She said that two of her responsibilities were to provide them with the information needed to make an informed decision and to offer comfort. “A lot of people just needed to hear that it’s okay,” Brautigam said. “Not everyone with Covid gets really sick.” In addition to offering support to Covid patients, she tried to be supportive of staff. She said they weren’t just dealing with stress related to caring for patients but were also dealing with stress in their own personal lives caused by the pandemic. That sometimes included scaling down long-anticipated weddings and missing group birthday celebrations. She said they’ve focused a lot on self-care and coping skills for nurses. “Some people go outdoors and other people read books or listen to music,” she said. “For others, making a phone call and hearing a familiar voice makes the difference.” Throughout the pandemic, Brautigam said she’s been very impressed by the resilience of people. She said that

“During this past year, I have learned how quickly things can change and how

important it is to be able to adapt to those changes that we are presented with on a daily basis,” said Copp. “I feel very grateful to have such an amazing team in the ICU. Covid patients in regards to PPE,” said Copp. “This includes gowns, gloves, N95 and goggles each time that we go into a patient’s room.” Besides dealing with the unknown, Copp said it was very difficult when they battled long and hard but were unable to save the lives of some patients. She said that was very stressful. “There were definitely times during the past year when I felt burned out,” said Copp. “We had patients that we fought tirelessly for day after day that sadly did not make it, despite doing every possible thing that we could do. That’s an incredibly defeating feeling that never gets easier.” The decision not to allow families to visit was also very difficult for both patients and staff, said Copp. Staff members did their best to update families and set up Zoom calls. However, the staff knew that wasn’t the same as family members being able to sit by a loved one’s bedside holding their hand. “Nothing can replace holding the hand of a loved one,” Copp said. In regards to the general atmosphere in the ICU, Copp said that it progressed and changed along with the course of the pandemic. She said the initial anxiety and fear of the

Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021


she’s always been impressed with the resilience of children but now she realizes how resilient adults can be as well, finding creative ways to stay in contact with other people. “We are a social people,” she said. “We need to show compassion for each other.” Another EMMC nurse manager, Mikele Neal, is responsible for overseeing staff and patient care in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatrics and pediatric sedation section. She’s also involved in supporting family in those areas. She said the past year has been the most challenging but also the most rewarding year of her nursing career. “This year has been extremely challenging for all of us, personally and professionally,” said Neal. “In my role, it has been very busy staying ahead of policy and guideline changes, and making sure staff are always aware of updates. More than ever before, our enhanced protocols ensure that the patient care environment is as safe as possible, and staff and patients have everything they need. As well, it has been an interesting year, shifting away from in-person meetings and more online.” In regards to addressing the needs of her staff, Neal said that she’s learned how critical it is for staff to have the right information, at the right time, to perform their jobs effectively. She’s another nurse manager who’s also learned how important it is to provide emotional support for staff dealing with stress caused by the pandemic, both at work and in their own personal lives and families. “Helping people personally as they have had to navigate this virus both at work and at home, at the same time dealing with our own fears for ourselves and our loved ones,” Neal said. “It’s been the hardest year of my professional life but the most fulfilling.” Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Nurse Manager Mikele Neal Photo courtesy of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center Nurse Manager Melissa Brautigam. Photo courtesy of Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.


Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021

Hospice Nurse Receives High Honor

Laura Osborne RN is the 2020 Nurse of the Year - Spirit of Excellence Award recipient for Amedisys, Inc.’s northern region. Photo courtesy of Laura Osborne.


“I still can’t believe I was chosen, and I am very humbled and honored,” says Laura Osborne, a registered nurse with Beacon Hospice of Bangor. “This really was a nice ending to 2020.” Osborne was honored with the 2020 Nurse of the Year — Spirit of Excellence Award from Amedisys, Inc. for its northern region. Beacon Hospice is part of the Amedisys family. This award is Amedisys’ highest clinical honor, recognizing the heroic work that’s been on display throughout this most unprecedented time for those in healthcare. Established in 2004, “The Spirit of Excellence Award honors clinicians who have provided the highest level of service, while demonstrating the tenets of the Amedisys SPIRIT,” says Beacon Hospice’s Executive Director Kristy Thibodeau. “SPIRIT stands for Service, Passion, Integrity, Respect, Innovation and Talent, which truly defines Laura.” Late last year the Hampden resident was one of almost 900 nominees. Thibodeau explains, “There were 34 winners, and as a care center, we were honored to have one of our own win Clinician of the Year! I know I speak for the entire team when I say Laura is a very positive, uplifting individual. She is a very caring and compassionate nurse who always goes above and beyond to ensure her patients have everything they need.” One of Beacon Hospice’s Chaplains nominated Osborne, noting this seasoned nurse’s positive influence on patients and their families and her commitment to the precepts of patient-centered care. Reflecting on her career, Osborne says her work has concentrated in oncology, first

at Eastern Maine Medical Center for more than 20 years and then Cancer Care of Maine for five years before joining Beacon in 2017. With hospice work, any planned schedule inevitably will change. “We meet every morning and sometimes one of my patients might be doing badly, so I have to switch my schedule around. If there is a death, I have to drop everything and attend,” Osborne says. “I may make a visit and find someone barely hanging on and have to increase their meds as they transition to end of life. I stay as long as it takes to make sure the patient and family are comfortable. Then sometimes I have an admission and my whole schedule needs to be rearranged.” Osborne says her car is her office and she is on the road and not complaining as she loves seeing the coast every day. “I group my visits according to location. My territory is very wide spread as I currently have patients in Sedgwick, Surry, Ellsworth, Bar Harbor and South West Harbor... I sometimes sit on the shore and tackle my paperwork.” While Osborne acknowledges she has had many wonderful experiences as a hospice nurse, she does struggle at times. “I feel less effective when I can’t get someone comfortable,” she says. “Covid has been very hard on nursing home patients. I remember one patient literally taking her last few breaths while her daughter was on the phone. I held the phone to my patient’s ear as she died.” “This job has been the most rewarding job ever,” Osborne says. “It’s such a privilege to be welcomed into a patient’s home and sharing life reviews with family while making sure loved ones have the best possible end of life. This award makes me proud of what I have accomplished. I’ve been truly blessed.”

These nursing specialists are in demand


Nursing can be a fast-paced, exciting occupation. Nursing is a vibrant field that includes talented professionals who specialize in various areas of health care. Depending on which type of medicine they find appealing, nurses can work in various settings. Demand for nurses is high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted that the demand for nurses in the United States would soar in the early years of the 2020s. The ongoing global pandemic has increased demand for nurses even more and highlighted how essential these workers really are. New nurses or seasoned applicants ready for something a little different may appreciate the growth potential in a variety of in-demand specialties.

Geriatric nurse: The population of senior citizens is expected to increase by 75 percent between 2010 and 2030, according to Husson University Online. Many nurses have no geriatric training, making a career in geriatric nursing a viable option — and one that can provide for quality care for the aging population.

Cardiac nurse: The World Health Organization reports that heart disease is the leading cause of death across the globe. So it should come as no surprise that the demand for nurses with a specialty in cardiac health is growing. Cardiac nurses can advise about preventing heart disease and assist in surgical procedures.

Certified nursing anesthetist: This interesting career option involves nursing and anesthesia. A certified nurse anesthetist administers anesthesia to patients under the supervision of an anesthesiologist. These nurses work closely with doctors in various fields.

Nursing midwife: In this specialty, nurses deliver babies and provide health care to pregnant patients. They also are instrumental in offering prenatal and postnatal care.

Critical care nurse: Critical care nurses are especially educated and trained for emergency situations. They are called on to tend to serious wounds and monitor life-support systems.

Family nurse practitioner: An individual who becomes an FNP is trained in primary care health services for people of all ages. The duties of an FNP are similar to a primary care physician in diagnosing and treating illnesses, providing physical exams and prescribing medications. The opportunities in nursing are endless. Individuals have many options when they decide to become a nurse, and many fields that fall under the nursing umbrella are experiencing a shortage.

Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021



Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021

Do your part to stay healthy

The biggest gift we can give our nurses? A healthy community One of the best ways we can show nurses in our communities that we care is to get vaccinated and continue to follow social distancing and mask-wearing protocols. We can all work together to control the virus and lessen the burden on our healthcare workers. Maine is making great strides in vaccinating the public. More than 300,000 Mainers have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine after it was approved in mid-December. All Mainers aged 16 and older are now eligible to get vaccinated. Visit covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites for a list of vaccination sites across the state. In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people continue to wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. According to Penni Watts, Ph.D., RN, an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, masks are designed not to prevent the wearer from getting ill, but to protect other people from getting the virus. Masks protect others from your germs when you cough or sneeze. They’re also an effective way to help people to avoid touching their faces. Masks are exposed to the elements and germs each time they are worn, meaning they will require cleaning. Even though Harvard Health suggests Covid-19 may live more readily on

hard surfaces than fabric, the CDC urges people to give cloth face masks the same level of care as regular laundry. Masks should be washed and dried often. The CDC offers these tips on how to clean most cloth and fabric masks. · Fabric face masks should be washed depending on the frequency of use. More frequent use necessitates more frequent washing. · A washing machine should be adequate for properly washing a face covering. Choose a warm setting for water temperature. Place masks in the dryer afterward. · More delicate, hand-sewn masks may be washed by hand, suggests The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab. Lather masks with soap and scrub them for at least 20 seconds with warm or hot water before placing in the dryer. · For additional sanitation, iron masks on the cotton or linen setting for a few minutes to kill remaining germs. · If masks are fortified with a filter, such as a coffee or HVAC filter, keep in mind that these filters are designed for single use. Paper filters should be replaced after each use. HVAC filters are washable, but manufacturers warn that their effectiveness decreases with each wash. Medium weight nonwoven interface used as filter material is typically washable. Various health agencies do not condone using steam or microwaves to clean cloth face masks, as these sanitizing techniques are not as effective as regular laundering. Also, never microwave non-fabric dust or N95 respirator masks if you are using them. They can catch fire or be rendered useless. Cloth face masks can help safeguard against germs like the coronavirus. However, they need to be cleaned regularly to remain sanitary.

New Nurses in Maine: Hope During a Pandemic

Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021


The COVID pandemic has done much to emphasize to Americans just how important our frontline workers are to our society. Our grocery store workers have made it possible for us to get food, even during times of crisis. Our delivery drivers and mail carriers have ensured we received important goods and medicines when we couldn’t leave our homes. And our health care workers have fought to save the lives of so many Americans infected with the virus. During the first wave of the pandemic, nurses made the national news for their valiant efforts in keeping us safe, despite shortages of personal protective equipment in many areas. In subsequent waves, nurses again made headlines as they worked to educate the public about the dangers of COVID-19. Many Americans are now thinking more about the important roles nurses play in our healthcare system and in our culture, and there is some concern that the trials of the pandemic may prohibit future nurses from joining nursing programs. But, according to national data, Maine is one state that has adjusted well to potential nursing shortages. Although there may be nursing shortages in many states in the United States, according to national data, by 2030, Maine is on track to fill any potential gaps. Dr. Colleen Koob, Dean of the School of Nursing at Beal University in Bangor, says their nursing programs at Beal have not seen a “decline or spike during these interesting times.” Instead, Koob says, “Our program has been seeing a steady number of applicants each application session.” Koob explains that Beal accepts nursing students three times per year, in September, January and May. “We just accepted 45 students into our May start this week, as a matter of fact.” One local nursing student, Steph Norman, is finishing up her sophomore year in Husson University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She says she decided at a fairly early

Although there may be nursing shortages in many states in the United States, according to national data, by 2030, Maine is on track to fill any potential gaps. age that she wanted to be a nurse after her experiences with healthcare workers after her younger brother was diagnosed with epilepsy. “My family was going to the hospital frequently for appointments, and sometimes to urgent care.” Although she had originally thought she might major in environmental science when she went to college, she decided to become a nurse. “Being around medical staff that often made me realize nursing was the profession I wanted to be in because of the care nurses provided to my brother.” Norman started the BSN program at Husson before the pandemic but says COVID-19 has not made her change her mind about becoming a nurse, despite the challenges nurses have faced over the last year. Norman says, “I feel more motivated now than ever to join nurses in helping to heal and protect patients impacted by the pandemic.” Of course, the pandemic has brought some trials to nursing education, but Maine programs have adjusted. Dr. Koob from Beal University says learning had to go online during the first months of the pandemic, but the university has been able to bring back safe in-person learning since last summer. Steph Norman says that the program at Husson has responded well to the pandemic as well. “My professors have done a great job in turning in-person classes to hybrid classes, so we can stay safe and still have hands-on learning experiences,” she says. It seems as if offering direct support for nurses who are already working in the fields has also been good for nursing students. Dr. Koob says some of their nursing student cohorts have held fundraisers to “purchase meals for staff at local hospitals and first responders during the high points of the pandemic.” Here in Maine, despite the struggles nurses have faced during the last year, there is great support for and a continued interest in one of the most important professions in the world.

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Nurses Care • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • May 7, 2021