What you’re about to read is a true success story. A story of a hard-working nurse with kindness, and compassion in her heart. You will also read about a unique offering here at our Medical Center that truly changed the course for herself, her family, and her patients. Bridget Squires, RN, Supplemental Staffing, is the first to graduate from the Nurse Sponsorship Program (formally Work and Grow Program).

Bridget is from Vermont and moved to Maine in 2006. She lives in Corinth with her husband and two children. She was a stay-at-home mom and became inspired to enter the healthcare field after her own experience as a patient with a cancer diagnosis. She was so motivated by the care and empathy the nurses gave her during her time in the hospital, that it brought her a sense of calm and hope like she had never experienced. Although she was inspired, Bridget says she felt she was not “good enough” to become a nurse.

Bridget started her healthcare journey as a homecare personal support specialists (PSS) in her hometown, and when she heard that Beal College was launching a nursing program, she applied. After starting the program, finances became tight at home, and her nursing career was on the verge of ending. It was then that Beal College approached her about our Nurse Sponsorship Program, because they felt she would be the perfect candidate, and encouraged her to apply. Of course, they were correct! Following the application and interview process, Bridget became our very first nurse sponsorship student.

Ali Worster, Esq., vice president, Human Resources, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center talks about meeting Bridget and getting the program started,

“When Deb and I were first creating the program, Bridget was highlighted by Beal College as the type of student that could really benefit from a sponsorship. When we met with Bridget, she was compassionate, dedicated, and radiated a warmth that we knew would have a positive impact on our patients. Throughout the program she has demonstrated a level of optimism and enthusiasm that brings everyone around her right along with her. She reinforced that this program was something that we needed, something that added to our culture, and something we needed to expand and promote. We are very proud to have her join the ranks of skilled and devoted nurses at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center.”

When asked about the program and schoolwork, Bridget explains,

“Nursing school is difficult, and balancing all of it is crazy. The flexibility of the Nurse Sponsorship Program allowed me to meet the needs of my school, family, and work commitments. Being able to have a full-time position and get paid for study time with flexible scheduling saved me! All of my in-hospital experiences and interactions provided a huge advantage in my class work and studies. I had the ability to ask nurses questions and directly observe the things we were learning in school and understand why things were done a certain way. I got several questions correct on exams directly because of my participation in the program, I am sure of it.”

One of the many benefits of the Nurse Sponsorship Program is the ability for participants to work their way up through the different levels of healthcare. Bridget went from her position as a PSS to a patient observer, then to a CNA and finally now, an RN. She knows the progressive aspect of the program makes her a better nurse, having been able to witness the entire workflow, the way teammates interact with one another and, in the end, she has a fuller understanding of the entire process. She feels very prepared and is a strong, well rounded new graduate nurse.

Did we mention … she just passed her NCLEX!

The NCLEX exam, also known as the National Council Licensure Examination, is used by state boards of nursing to decide whether a candidate is ready to begin practicing as an entry-level nurse. By passing this exam, it allowed Bridget to become licensed as an RN. A participant can’t sit for the NCLEX without completing an accredited nursing school.

Nicole Robichaud, RN, CCRN, nurse manager, Supplemental Staffing, Inpatient Wound and Ostomy speaks about our first nurse graduate from this program, “Bridget is the epitome of a great team member. She is selfless and focused on the goal of the very best patient outcomes. It has been a pleasure and honor to be her mentor and leader throughout her journey in this program. She has handled difficult moments with grace, and celebrated her success, and inspired those around her. Hungry to learn, and to pave the path ahead with positivity, Bridget is destined for nothing short of amazing things, and we will all get to be a part of her beautiful story.”

Perhaps Bridget says it best, “Take the jump. Trust me when I tell you that you can do more than you think you can. I took the jump, and I will now be able to provide a better future for my family.” She assures future participants, “You aren’t in it alone, the support from leaders and everyone is incredible, everybody wants you to succeed, and makes you feel like family.”

Congratulations to a very well deserving Bridget!

For information about the Nurse Sponsorship Program, please call Stacey Coventry, director of Volunteer and Community Development Services at 207-973-7851.