Maine hospital aims to boost clinical retention, avoid shortages with partnership: 3 insights

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Fort Kent-based Northern Maine Medical Center formed a partnership with the University of New England's nurse anesthesia program in an effort to stave off provider shortages and boost retention, according to Bangor Daily News.

Three things to know:

1. NMMC offers clinical opportunities and on-site mentoring to anesthesia students in their senior rotation who meet certain requirements. They must obtain a grade point average of at least 3.0 and complete at least two years of critical care nursing experience.

2. By allowing students to practice within an independent model, the program establishes a pipeline of healthcare professionals at a critical time. Demand for nurse anesthetists is expected to increase 31 percent in the next decade, driven by new legislation and an aging population, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"The partnership [with Biddeford, Maine-based University of New England] provides the opportunity to expose future CRNAs to our facility, our clinical practices and our community," said Andrea Bouchard, BSN, RN, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and manager of NMMC's surgical services.

3. The mentorship opportunities created through the program also benefit staff retention, Ms. Bouchard said. Existing employees can refine their own skills while shaping the career development of future healthcare professionals.

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