By Lorraine SantaLucia
Across the organization, The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) supports employees in continuous learning and professional development.
BRC held an Education Fair recently to encourage staff to use their tuition reimbursement benefit. Employees met with representatives of several local colleges that partner with BRC. They learned about educational programs and additional discounts from these partner institutions.
Some employees are already taking advantage of BRC’s culture that promotes skilled growth. Over the past year, several nurses earned the American Nurses Credentialing Center Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing board certification. The rigorous exam certifies clinical knowledge and skills for nurses in psychiatric mental health after initial RN licensure.
“I have been at BRC for five years and I found my niche here. I always wanted to specialize in one area, and because of BRC, I chose psychiatry. Getting this certification helped me to work with the children here on a higher level. It also increased my knowledge base as the certification is not limited to mental health for adolescents,” said Claude “Ed” Cook, RN-BC. Cook works in the younger children’s and adolescent girls’ dorms.
“I felt so encouraged by the center when I was recommended to pursue the certification. After passing my exam I donated the books I used to study back to BRC. It’s my hope that future RN’s here will pursue the certification as well,” he added.
Colleen Spitler RN-BC is a nurse manager in BRC’s adolescent girls’ dorm. “Not many institutions will encourage the professional growth of their staff like BRC. It was a big motivator for me to pursue further credentialing that my supervisors recommended,” she said.
“I think this certification attests to my credibility when I’m working with parents, therapists and doctors. This helps me with admissions assessments, and with daily interactions with the youth,” she explained. “That initial interaction with our families is so important, and this certification has helped me to provide higher quality care.”
BRC’s focus on staff growth stems from its commitment to provide quality care through residential programs, intensive outpatient substance use programs, and foster care.
“Before BRC, I worked for two other locations in the medical field, and I truly believe I’m doing more good for the kids and their families here,” Cook said. “Since receiving my certification especially, I’ve been able to better communicate with the children and better understand the process of handling their behaviors to best help them. I interact with about 12 children per day. They seem to respect and listen more now that I’ve been able to better respond to their needs from what I learned in my studies.”