Nursing students in residence

Live, work and learn in a Portland, Maine, nursing home.

Six students from area nursing schools will do just that at Saint Joseph’s Rehabilitation & Residence. It’s a new program adapted from Humanitas retirement home in Deventer, Netherlands, where students are neighbors to, assist and learn from their senior neighbors.

“It’s a great experience that these students wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere,” says Jon Dahms, who works in human resources and coordinates the program to WCSH6. “We want these students to get so much more out of this than just coming to work each day and learning from someone who has experience. We want them to really interact with our patients, we want them to be out there and to be hands on to really learn as they go.”

The goal is for students to spend at least two semesters to get the desired training and experience. Students get free housing in a bedroom big enough for a double bed and a private bathroom. They are required to work a minimum 16 hours a week as a CNA or Neighborhood Assistant and are paid $11-12 an hour. And because they live on-site that’s open around the clock, students can work nights, weekends or whenever they’re needed.

Resident Barbara Fetteroll and her husband Gene are enjoying seeing the students because it reminds them of their grandchildren who are around the same age. “They might mention something that on TV that we’ve never heard of,” Gene says. “That’s good because they bring in new ideas and new values.”

Topics: Facility management , Housing , Staffing , Training