LEWISTON – Three Central Maine Medical Family emergency department nurses were among the first group of nurses in the United States to earn a new special certification. Carmen Hetherington, R.N., of Central Maine Medical Center, and Pamela Poisson, R.N., and Robin Gilbert, R.N., both of Rumford Hospital, were among just 200 nurses nationwide to earn the Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse designation.

Hetherington and Poisson participated as beta testers for the first CPEN exam, which was administered in October. Gilbert, chairperson of the Board of Certification for Emergency Nurses, helped develop the CPEN exam. All three nurses also hold the Certified Emergency Nurse credential.

The CPEN credential is valid for four years.

Hetherington has nearly 30 years experience as a registered nurse, including 22 years as an emergency nurse. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine in Portland. She is emergency medical services educator at CMMC. She is also chairperson of the Maine Emergency Nurses Association Pediatric Committee and represents Tri-County EMS and MENA on the Maine EMS Committee for Children.

Gilbert also has almost 30 years experience in nursing. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Curry College in Milton, Mass., and her master’s degree in nursing from St. Joseph College in Windham. She is manager of the Rumford Hospital Emergency Department. She has been involved with BCEN for the past 10 years, starting as an item writer for the CEN exam and moving on to the exam construction review committee before becoming the organization’s chairperson.

Poisson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Farmington and earned an associate degree in nursing from the University of Maine at Augusta. She has worked as an emergency department nurse at Rumford Hospital for the past 11 years. She is chairperson of the MENA Governmental Affairs Committee. She maintains certifications in nursing and emergency responder specialties and holds the distinction of being Maine’s first RN-paramedic. Her nursing experience also includes 13 years at Inland Hospital in Waterville.

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