Friday, March 29, 2013

MGHers take steps to advance careers

JANICE MAENPAA knew she wanted to be a nurse since she was a little girl. On some Sundays after church, she would visit her grandmother who was being cared for at the MGH and dream about her future career. But as she grew older, doubts about the finances required to pay for college and uncertainties of whether she’d have the stamina to handle the rigors of classes nearly derailed her hopes of attaining her childhood dream. On a whim, however, she enrolled in a biology class and immediately her concerns were quieted.

Maenpaa, now an RN, has been a staff nurse in Pediatrics on Ellison 17 for the past 16 years and has continued to advance her education. Next month, she will graduate with her master’s degree from Regis College in Weston, thanks to support from the MGH. Maenpaa, who started her career at the MGH as a nursing assistant, shared her experiences during the March 21 MGH Training and Workforce Development Office’s “Taking the First Step” workshop, part of its annual “Steps to Success” series. “The support is astronomical. I’m not going to retire. I am going to stay here at Mass General until they tell me don’t come back anymore,” Maenpaa joked. “I think everyone should go to school. Sleep is overrated.”

The session highlighted the varied workforce development resources available to MGH staff – including college preparation and time management classes, financial assistance, career information meetings and self-assessment tools to help outline future goals. “Janice is one of the many MGH employees who have ‘taken the first step’ and beyond to realize their career aspirations,” said Carlyene Prince-Erickson, director of MGH Training and Workforce Development. “Her inspirational story is one example of how employees can utilize the programs and services through the Training and Workforce Development Office to help advance their careers at the MGH. We’re a resource to both employees and managers to help employees make informed decisions about their careers.”

The “Steps to Success” series will continue with the Financial Assistance workshop April 25 from noon to 1 pm in the Thier Conference Room and the annual MGH Higher Education Fair May 23 from noon to 3 pm in the Bulfinch Tent. Representatives from more than 15 institutions will be available to discuss program options, including nursing, research administration, inpatient coding, health care policy and administration. 

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