Nursing at Cheshire

Exceptional nursing is at the heart of Cheshire Medical Center's quality care, with over 500 nurses in myriad specialties and at every level of leadership. We seek deeply compassionate, highly skilled nursing professionals to join our community.

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2022 Nursing Report

2021 Nursing Report

Having trouble viewing the Issuu full-screen reader above?  View 2021 Nursing Report PDF and the 2022 Nursing Report PDF.

Develop your skills and grow your career here

At Cheshire, our nurses are surrounded from the start with support and development opportunities in our Nurse Residency Program, which provides a structured orientation experience that allows newly licensed RNs to begin their nursing career with confidence. Read more about the residency in the 2021 Nursing Report (PDF)  and opportunities for professional growth throughout your career on our education and growth page.

Choose your home at Cheshire

With countless opportunities from ICU bedside and perioperative nursing to ambulatory specialty care and clinical informatics, each team can offer you a unique feel, educational experiences, and daily work. Our 2022 Nursing Report highlights how nurses reassigned during a severe COVID-19 surge embraced new skills and teams—some altering their careers due to the opportunity.

Nursing unit overview

Thompson Unit

Cheshire Medical Center’s largest unit, Thompson is a 39-bed, mixed-acuity facility that specializes in medical, surgical, and stepdown level of care. At Thomson, you have the opportunity to join a committed and talented staff, competent in treating a variety of different diagnoses—many of them are certified in either medical-surgical nursing or progressive care. You will gain valuable experience treating patients with a variety of medical conditions as well as postoperative patients. Most of them are elderly, but they also can be as young as 18.

You can expect to work 12-hour shifts, with a nurse-to-patient ratio of 4-to-1 or 5-to-1, depending on patient acuity. The unit’s staff value teamwork and are always willing to lend a hand to a coworker in need. We also like to have fun and keep a light atmosphere whenever possible.

Thompson Unit offers you all of the advantages of working in a small, community hospital while providing ample opportunity for training and advancement. Training for interpreting cardiac telemetry is essential in this unit, and is made available to all staff along with the opportunity to certify in advanced cardiovascular life support (ACLS). If there is a certification you are interested in, the unit will help with preparation and fees. Advancement opportunities open to you include charge nurse training, preceptor training, and other leadership development courses.

Women and Children’s Health Unit

WACHU, as it is known, is often the most joyous unit of Cheshire Medical Center. You will find it well-equipped for a small, community hospital, with four labor rooms, one operating room, and separate facilities for postpartum patients. The unit offers hydrotherapy for pain management in labor, includes a nursery for infant testing or post-resuscitation care, and even has its own negative pressure room. In this unit, you gain experience in everything from labor and delivery to postpartum mothers and babies and gynecological patients.

The WACHU has a Baby-Friendly Designation, although we care for a wide variety of patients and use a lot of skills. We have a wide range of experience levels on the unit, and we are a great team; we really work well together and care about each other. You can expect to work 12-hour shifts on a four-week schedule, with every other weekend off. Your orientation and training will be extensive, usually eight weeks in postpartum and 12 weeks in labor and delivery.

Additional certifications available include Neonatal Resuscitation Program, STABLE, AWHONN Intermediate Fetal Monitoring, and NCC nursing certifications. Growth and advancement are encouraged through committee and meeting involvement, shared governance, practice improvement projects, and charge nurse training.

“I want our patients, our team, and the organization to succeed because this is my hospital, these are my people, and this is my community,” says the unit leader. “I take it very personally.”

Intensive Care Unit

Cheshire Medical Center’s unit for critical care nursing is a 10-bed suite, focused on caring for and supporting patients and their families while using advanced technological systems and tools to monitor and treat critical illnesses. You will find each patient room equipped with an electric therapeutic bed, emergency call system, cardiac monitoring with additional monitoring modules, wall-mounted documentation station, and access to other critical care equipment needs. Working with a dedicated team, in the ICU you will perform patient care aimed at stabilizing vital functions, preservation of life, and prevention of complications, restoring patients to maximum functional capacity. Your patient population will include critically unstable patients exhibiting everything from acute coronary syndrome to unstable hemodynamics.

Our goal is to provide optimum 24-hour critical care nursing to medical/surgical patients that demonstrate unstable vital functions requiring specialized treatment and supportive measures. This is accomplished by the rapid recognition and treatment of life-threatening complications, with an emphasis on total patient care.

You can expect to work 12-hour shifts, with holiday and weekend rotations, and a ratio of one nurse to two patients or less depending on patient acuity, isolation needs, and nurse experience. Training includes a comprehensive orientation designed to support a newly licensed RN, as well as others, and valuable opportunities for continued education both onsite and offsite, including CCRN certification. Your career growth prospects come in the form of shared governance, nurse preceptorships, and the potential for promotion to charge.

Operating Room

Although we are small, Cheshire Medical Center features five up-to-date Operating Room suites with a sixth in the labor and delivery department. You could join our dedicated team of registered nurses, registered nurse first assists, certified surgical technologists, and other assistive personnel providing care within surgical services. You will experience a diverse population of both inpatients and outpatients undergoing surgical, diagnostic, invasive, and other special procedures, including patients of all ages, infant to geriatric.

Cheshire’s OR provides the opportunity for you to work in a highly technical environment, with a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1-to-1. Our OR relies heavily on teamwork and cooperation among an interdisciplinary team, and you will find that all members of the OR team work together to ensure the safety of our patients and the quality of care delivery.

Expect to work full time in 8- or 10- hour shifts, Monday through Friday, with a call requirement evenings, holidays, and weekends. There are many opportunities for professional development in the OR, including on-the-job training to gain competency for all procedures, the AORN Perioperative 101 Course, and in-house BLS and ACLS classes and certification. Cheshire’s OR leadership is highly supportive of specialty nursing certification (CNOR) to further OR nursing knowledge and skill, and the hospital is also a clinical training site Dartmouth Health’s Surgical Technology Training Program. The OR can lead to exciting career paths in nursing leadership, nursing education, or as a nurse anesthetist or nurse practitioner with a surgical focus, among others.

Preoperative Unit

Cheshire Medical Center’s short-stay unit for surgical services provides comprehensive nursing care for patients undergoing surgical, diagnostic, invasive, noninvasive, and other special procedures. You can help our dedicated team provide quality daytime care to individuals of all ages who are preparing for elective or emergent surgery, as both outpatients and inpatients. Your engaging tasks will include pre-admission testing, comprehensive nursing assessment, development of a plan of care, preoperative and postoperative education, and support for patients and their family or care givers based upon individual needs.

In our tightknit unit, the nursing and ancillary staff operate as a cohesive team to achieve high-quality patient care goals, with an average nurse-to-patient ratio of one-to-two. Care is provided to patients following standards set forth by the Association of Perioperative Nurses (AORN), the Association of Perianesthesia Nurses (ASPAN), and the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses Association (SGNA). You can expect to work a variety of eight-, 10-, and 12-hour shifts, Monday through Friday, with no night shifts or work requirements for on-call, weekends, or holidays.

Your professional growth is encouraged at Cheshire, with annual skills competency education and training and in-house BLS and ACLS classes and certification. Cheshire’s leadership is highly supportive of specialty nursing certification (CAPA) to further nursing knowledge and skill in this unit.

Post Anesthesia Care Unit

This unit, known as PACU, provides compassionate, quality care to patients at Cheshire Medical Center after surgery or other procedures that involve sedation. As a part of our excellent team, you will provide care to both adult and pediatric patients recovering from a wide range of procedures, with about 80 percent of them being outpatients. You will find that this team demonstrates a high level of engagement in the work of the department and the Medical Center. We are committed to standards of behavior that promote healthy team interactions and staff satisfaction.

PACU is staffed from 7:30 AM to 8:00 PM, with the remaining hours covered by on-call staff. You can expect a flexible work schedule, and even the ability to set your own schedule. Average patient-to-nurse ratios adhere to ASPAN standards, starting with only one or two patients at a time but working up to as many as three patients. Professional growth opportunities include a comprehensive PACU orientation program and the potential for supervisory roles. Many of our staff are pursuing advanced degrees, and these efforts are highly encouraged and supported. We are also exploring exciting new ways to promote growth and leadership within in this department including developing a PACU Administrative Council.

Kingsbury Unit

Kingsbury is a 27-bed medical-surgical unit, caring for inpatients at Cheshire Medical Center with a variety of medical conditions as well as post-operative patients. You can be part of this competent and committed team performing an exciting diversity of caregiving tasks. Most of our patients are elderly, but we also can see patients as young as 18. You will find that Kingsbury has a good mix of staff experience, and is welcoming to newly licensed individuals. Teamwork is very important, as well as having fun.

As a member of this excellent team, you can expect to work 12-hour shifts, starting at 7:00 AM or 7:00 PM, with a nurse-to-patient ratio of 5-to-1. We work closely with the education department and the unit educator to ensure everyone is following evidence-based practice.

Professional development opportunities abound in Kingsbury, including cardiac telemetry training, ACLS verification, as well as other professional certification support. You will also find several advancement opportunities, such as charge nurse training, preceptor training, and other leadership development courses. There is also the opportunity to become a unit-based supervisor who assists the nurse manager with the day-to-day operations of the unit. Kingsbury has an active unit practice council promoting shared governance, in which you are encouraged to participate.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Cheshire Medical Center’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit is a 24-bed, specialty unit providing comprehensive rehabilitation services to patients who are primarily in need of physical restoration following a disease or disabling condition, from strokes to motor vehicle accidents. You will be part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team including physicians, rehabilitation nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, recreational therapists, speech and language pathologists, dieticians, social workers and other specialists.

As part of this dedicated unit you will ensure that each patient has the opportunity to attain their maximum potential physically, socially, vocationally, and cognitively. Ours is a team effort involving the patient, their family or caregiver, their physician, and various professionals skilled in rehabilitation techniques, with the goal of returning patients to their optimal level of physical and functional independence.

You will find that the rehab team works together to ensure that there is a consistent and integrated approach to patient care 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. You can expect to work 12 or 8 hour shifts on a per diem basis, with approximately five patients per per nurse, depending on acuity. Professional growth opportunities range from classes in dysphagia and safe patient handling and mobility to certified rehabilitation registered nurse credentials (CRRN) and other certifications, leading to advancements in your career.

Emergency Department

Cheshire Medical Center’s small but mighty Emergency Department features many of the perks of a larger regional hospital, but serves the local community with compassionate and quality care. The facility includes 21 beds, a four-bed behavioral health pod, a private OB specialty room, two trauma/resuscitation bays, and the use of telemedicine to consult with other specialists in neurology and emergency medicine. You will experience interdisciplinary teamwork and comradery in this well-equipped ED, as you work side by side with other nurses, techs, health unit coordinators, providers, and associate providers.

Cheshire’s ED serves a diverse population of patients from this rural community, from newborn to end of life, including some college students from the Keene State. You can expect scheduling flexibility and a self-schedule format, working 12-hour shifts—starting at 7 am and 7 pm or swing shifts starting at 11 am and 3 pm—including every other or every third weekend. The average nurse-to-patient ratio is 5-to-1, with smaller ratios with higher patient acuity.

This ED is an excellent place to gain diverse experiences and training for professional development, with a clinical educator, case studies, and chart reviews performed between leadership and staff. You will also find free online training resources including quality improvement through the Value Institute Learning Center at Dartmouth Health. You can access valuable certifications for CEN (Certified Emergency Nurse), TCRN (Trauma Certified Registered Nurse), ENPC (Emergency Nurses Pediatric Course), and TNCC (Trauma Nurse Core Curriculum), and stay involved with other available educational resources through the shared governance model.

Float Pool

If you are interested in gaining the most diverse range of experiences and expertise available at a small, community hospital, Cheshire’s Float Pool Department is for you. The Float Pool is a versatile clinical team that floats across departments, based on patient location and care needs. Staff are oriented to all in-patient units, including the Emergency Department and the Women’s and Children Health Unit, so you could be helping to treat a hockey injury one day and caring for a newborn baby the next.

The Float Pool is fun, in a word. It never gets boring; you meet all of the staff on all units, and they are happy to see you as you are helping them with a staffing need. Meanwhile, you get to develop many skills for each area. Float pool team members have a great relationship: they support each other and are recognized by all staff as an important resource.

There are three tiers of float pool team members, and the more areas you get oriented to, the better the compensation. You can expect 12-hour shifts, with a schedule that rotates so you can plan your weekends off for months to come. Training for each unit includes orientation checklists and preceptors to orient you, and council membership allows you to help make decisions that support the work you do and your professional growth. Many nurses oriented to the administrative clinical supervisor role have gone on to nurse manager positions.

Live, work, and thrive in the Monadnock Region

Not only is Cheshire a great place to develop your nursing career, but our beautiful, vibrant community is a fantastic place to live a better life.

If you love outdoor living, are an arts enthusiast, or are looking for a beautiful place with a deep sense of community, Southwest New Hampshire might be the perfect place for you. Learn about our unique corner of the world.

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Girl in 20s with hiking gear & dog look down from a Rocky Mountain ledge at pine forest below

Hear from some of our nurses

Amy Matthews, DNP, MS, RN, CENP, chief nursing officer of Cheshire Medical Center

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View nursing opportunities at Cheshire Medical Center and satellites