In addition to earning her certificate as a Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse, Cara has been promoted to Unit Manager of the acute rehabilitation wing at Bacharach. Not only does she have oversight of the typical operations of the day and addressing any problems that may arise, she has 24- hour responsibility for the unit.
Cara started her nursing education at Burlington Community College where she became a registered nurse. A 6-year stint in the ICU at Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital followed. “It was a good place to learn, fresh out of school,” she said.
Next, Cara spent 10 years at the Emergency Department at AtlantiCare, responsible nights for 24 beds and the waiting room, a grueling and challenging assignment. “You can’t make anyone happy. No one’s happy in the ER. You are either unhappy about the wait, or your loved one is very, very sick.”
While she was supervising in the ER, Cara went back to school and completed her BSN in 2 years, working full time and going to school full time. “It was hard. I would not want to do that again.”
She and her husband, also a nurse, have 4 children “I always worked nights, he always worked days. The schedule is written all over the house in 6 places. You have to be organized.”
“Tess Flancia, the nursing supervisor on Renaissance Pavilion, asked me to come over to Bacharach and give it a shot. I have been here 2 years and 8 months. Here at Bacharach, you get recognition and you’re appreciated.”
“Bacharach is like Deborah – old school and self-contained. Richard (Kathrins, CEO and President) comes down to the unit and talks to staff, talks to patients. That really matters.”
Cara is one of 4 nurses who recently earned the CRRN certification. “A bunch of us from night shift carpooled together to Kessler for the course. We shared the books, and Adela Clontea (another new CRRN) and I would quiz each other on our breaks. It was really good information.”
What advice would Cara have for someone new to nursing? “Always further your education through more college or CEUs. Try all types of nursing until you find the right one, and then you will know.”
Now that she will be working the day shift for the first time in many years, “I am looking forward to seeing patients and families and meeting the rehab staff. The staff sees potential in every patient here. No one is left behind, no one is forgotten.
“I may be getting more sleep, I may be getting less. We’ll find out.”