Debbie Partrick, MSM-HCA

Building a better birthing center

"I truly enjoy the opportunity to once again learn new things to help me become a better professional," said Debbie Partrick, nurse manager of the Birthing Center at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. She's enrolled in the new master's program in health care administration at the Marlboro College Graduate Center.

"The pace can sometimes be a bit trying, but now that I am back in the swing of studying I seem to be doing alright. The courses are interesting and challenging at the same time!"

Debbie had worked at BMH for two years before she considered making this quantum leap in her career. She was encouraged by Kathy Anderson, former vice president of patient care services at BMH and program director for the HCA program. "Kathy's confidence in my ability made me start investigating the program," said Debbie. "I liked that it was right in Brattleboro and that class would only meet one night a week."

She also liked the level of support and from MCGC staff and faculty. "The best part is having staff and faculty who truly care about you and the degree you are pursuing. I think their dedication, not only to the program but to the students, is a reflection of the uniqueness of this program."

For her capstone project, Debbie plans to research and implement a nurse-mentoring program at BMH, to improve recruitment and retention rates at the Birthing Center. She hopes that her project will encourage new nurses to stay within the hospital community for many years to come.

"I feel the overall knowledge that Debbie is gaining will aid both in her career and her current work," said Mary Urquhart, vice president of patient care services at BMH. "MCGC provides a schedule focused on working students and uses area speakers as adjuncts to the program. This is very good as it gives students a feel for our local healthcare community."

Mary feels that the new HCA program provides a much-needed service for the Brattleboro area. "Two of the largest employers here are health care facilities and several other local agencies have a health care focus, yet the area has been essentially devoid of health care education opportunities. The HCA program brings administrative health care education to the area, which in turn can help bring healthcare employees to the area."

"Another awesome piece is sharing this degree with my fellow classmates," added Debbie. "We have become a very tight group and are great support for one another."

Deb Partrick discusses Nurse Mentoring Project at Spring 2010 Capstone Fair