High School Nursing Pathway Partnership established among Eastern Maine Community College, United Technologies Center, Hancock County Technical Center, and Bridge Academy Maine
On Friday, March 11, representatives from Northern Light, Eastern Maine Community College (EMCC), United Technologies Center, Hancock County Technical Center and Bridge Academy Maine gathered at EMCC to sign an agreement creating a high school nursing pathway for students taking allied health programs at United Technologies Center in Bangor and Hancock County Technical Center in Ellsworth.
The High School Nursing Pathway Partnership is a collaboration to provide a pathway to EMCC’s Associate in Science in Nursing degree to students within the Bangor and Ellsworth regions. The collaboration creates a streamlined pathway to a nursing degree and is one solution to address the shortage of nurses in Maine. The pathway takes advantage of the technical skills taught in high school by creating linkages that value the technical education delivered in Maine’s career and technical centers. By aligning programming, the time it takes to a nursing degree is shortened by a year while reducing or eliminating student debt.
“It takes that first year of general education credits and it puts it in high school. So, in their junior and senior years, they’re taking courses through EMCC and their high school that will transfer as college credit. It erases that third year,” said Pilar Burmeister, EMCC’s nursing director.
This program benefits high school students at United Technology Center and Hancock County Technology Center, who are enrolled in Bridge Academy of Maine. Burmeister said this will be a direct pathway to EMCC. Once students are enrolled in the nursing program, they will only have two years to complete before graduation and then they become a registered nurse.
“For our students, it’s going to be another option for them to be able to continue to make that same connection as Amy Boles mentioned from high school to CTE to the next phase of their career path of education,” said Amanda Peterson, UTC director. “What it also does though, it connects to an employer rather than having the students do it on their own. That makes it even more important and more valuable.”
“They also receive their CNA while they are in high school. They will be able to work as CNAs, which is helpful coming into the nursing program because they get to see what nurses do and are more aware of the role,” said Burmeister.
“Having Northern Light involved from the very beginning shows our students a clear path to a high wage/high demand job here in Maine”, commented Brian Langley, executive director of Bridge Academy Maine. He went on to say, “Nursing faculty have told us that students who started out as CNA’s make the best nurses. They understand patient care and develop great bedside manners”.
“Our role is to provide the supports necessary for our students to be successful on their path. Langley went on to say, “Supports include mentoring, providing college success skill training, on-campus visits and networking to help students find a rewarding career in Maine.” “It is our intention to expand this opportunity to every CTE region in the state and to work with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce to replicate this model in other industries in Maine.”
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