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TAMC Nurse Earns Four Emergency Nursing Certifications

One of Only Sixteen in the Nation to do so

Fort Fairfield Journal, May 1, 2013

PRESQUE ISLE—Becoming certified in any single aspect of emergency nursing shows a commitment to building skills and providing high quality patient care. TAMC registered nurse Stacey Gallagher-Sutton has taken certification to a much higher level.

Stacey recently received her fourth nursing certification from the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing (BCEN), becoming one of only 16 people in the nation to achieve the impressive feat. She is certified as an emergency nurse, a flight registered nurse, a transport registered nurse, and a pediatric emergency nurse.

“It has been my goal since getting the first one to earn all four certifications,” said Stacey. “Some of the work we do is very complex, and by studying and passing the tests, I have become more confident in myself.”

Stacey provides patient care on flights between Aroostook County and larger hospitals in Bangor, Portland, Boston, or beyond for TAMC’s Critical Care Transport Service. Patients who are flown to other hospitals are typically very ill, and a specialized, high level of nursing care is required on the flights. Stacey also works in the emergency department at A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital.

She earned the certifications by spending dozens of hours studying for each one and taking four, 180-question exams in Portland and Bangor. She feels that becoming certified makes a difference to her patients.

“When a patient or family member hears that you’re certified, it makes them feel more comfortable with your ability to be able to take great care of them,” she said. “It shows that somebody has taken that extra step to become better at what they do and gain extra knowledge. When people see the pins on my name badge and ask me what they are, and I think it might put their mind at ease to know that I’ve taken additional training.”

Several TAMC nurses have achieved certified in emergency nursing and other areas of nursing. According to Daryl Boucher, director of emergency services, TAMC encourages nurses and other staff to pursue certification.

“We’re proud of Stacey for doing something that so few people in the nation have been able to accomplish,” he said. “We think it’s great that so many of our nurses have become certified in one or more aspects of healthcare, as they have shown a strong dedication to being the best they can be and serving our patients.”

Stacey, who is also an emergency medical technician, continues to sharpen her nursing skills by working on her master’s degree and participating in continuing education opportunities. She is also certified as a Maine state sexual assault forensic examiner and has received a critical care transport certification. A single mom, she credits her children with inspiring her to pursue her career goals.

“There are both personal and professional benefits achieved when nurses obtain certifications within their areas of specialty,” she said. “It benefits our patients by broadening our knowledge base and allowing us to be more proficient and competent in our professional roles. Certifications make a difference in our patients' level of confidence in the care we provide.”

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