Spring Harbor Hospital

Spring Harbor Hospital Care Team

Medical Staff

Spring Harbor's medical staff are highly trained individuals who balance the fundamentals of respectful and compassionate patient care with medication management and therapeutic techniques. Lead physicians oversee multidisciplinary treatment teams to ensure optimal health outcomes for each patient. In addition to psychiatrists, we employ talented psychologists, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. Psychologists work in both the inpatient and outpatient settings to provide neurological and behavioral assessments. Physician assistants and nurse practitioners assist our treatment teams in delivering the safest, highest quality medication management and therapy regimens.

Psychiatric Nursing Staff

Psychiatric nurses are an integral part of the multidisciplinary care team. They work with patients and families to promote optimal bio-psycho-social functioning—serving individuals of all ages with major mental illnesses, co-occurring disorders and developmental disorders. Psychiatric nurses continually develop their skills to meet the complexities of mental health disorders and support patients in their journey toward recovery. Services include:

  • Ongoing assessment of individual needs
  • Patient, family and community education
  • Early crisis recognition, interventions and de-escalation
  • Medication management
  • Helping patients transition back to the community
  • Development of relapse prevention plans
  • Patient advocacy

Psychiatric Social Workers

Spring Harbor Hospital employs social workers and clinical counselors in a variety of settings across its mental health network. Included are hospital units serving children, adolescents and adults as well as Maine's only Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders. The social work / clinical counselor discipline is also well represented in our outpatient treatment setting. Professional opportunities exist in programs ranging from observation beds to assertive community treatment teams to traditional individual, couples and family therapy.

Career Paths

Spring Harbor recognizes and rewards increasing levels of expertise, commitment to patient care and quality treatment outcomes. We support and promote professional development, personal growth and job satisfaction.

Practice Levels

  • Psychiatric Nurse I: An entry-level position for newly-registered nurses or new hires who demonstrate emerging knowledge of patient-centered, strength-based approaches to caring for psychiatric patients.
  • Psychiatric Nurse II: Nurses who are proficient in their field with (usually) two or more years of psychiatric nursing experience.
  • Psychiatric Nurse III: Expert nurses who have mastered clinically sound, evidenced-based practice and serve as a resource and preceptor to staff.

Advancement Guidelines

Typical psychiatric nurse career progression:

  1. Upon hire and during the first 12 months of employment, RNs will practice according to the duties and responsibilities of a Psychiatric Nurse I.
  2. At 90 days, individual performance is evaluated to assure completion of initial employment requirements and satisfactory performance of duties and responsibilities.
  3. After one year, each RN’s performance is evaluated against the position description for which each was hired.
  4. RN’s with at least two years of experience in psychiatric nursing and one year of employment at Spring Harbor can choose to continue their practice at the Psychiatric Nurse I level or begin the application process for Psychiatric Nurse II. Advancement to Psychiatric Nurse II requires nurse management endorsement and a completed portfolio
  5. Advancement to Psychiatric Nurse III requires endorsement by the RN’s program manager and approval of the applicant’s portfolio by the Nursing Application Review Committee.

RNs seeking advancement to the next career level will prepare and submit the following to the Nursing Application Review Committee:

  • Letter of intent
  • Portfolio (proof of educational requirements, etc)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Program manager/director endorsement

Professional Maintenance

Documentation required yearly:

  • Valid licensure in the State of Maine
  • Satisfactory job performance evaluation
  • Evidence of continued performance at current career level at time of evaluation
  • RNs may elect to redefine responsibilities and resume previous level of practice

Spring Harbor Hospital offers preceptor opportunities for newly hired psychiatric nurses. Our preceptor program is designed to:

  • Enhance the delivery of care to all patients
  • Assist the newly hired nurse to successfully develop into a competent psychiatric nurse
  • Promote the recruitment and retention of highly skilled nurses

Each nurse preceptor is an experienced registered nurse with a minimum of 2 years in the field of psychiatry/mental health who has been with the organization for at least one year. Preceptors receive training and ongoing supervision to provide them with skills and resources to assist the newly hired nurse.

Preceptors assess the learning needs of newly hired nurses and develop plans to meet these needs, all the while providing ongoing feedback and support. Preceptors are available both during orientation and throughout the transition of each new nurse to their role as an independently functioning psychiatric nurse professional.

Levels of Practice

Four levels of clinical practice are recognized for the social work/clinical counseling professional.

Social Worker I
This is an entry-level position for social workers with a bachelor's degree. A social worker is expected to obtain a LSW-C license upon employment. The SW I will then obtain a LSW license upon 2 years of employment and meeting the requirements set forth by the State of Maine Board of Social Work Licensure.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor II
This is an entry-level position for a social worker/clinical counselor with a master's degree and licensure at the LMSW Conditional level at the time of hire. By the end of 2 years of employment, SW/CC II's will have obtained their LCSW/LCPC license.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor III
This is an advanced position for the proficient LCSW/LCPC with at least 3 years of experience working at Spring Harbor  or Maine Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry. This position requires advanced clinical skills and responsibility; the ability to care for any patient in their proficiency area and respond to patient-care crises; independent functioning; supervision/orientation of other staff; and problem-solving at the program and Network levels.

Social Worker/Clinical Counselor IV
This is an advanced position for the expert LCSW/LCPC with at least 5 years of experience working at Spring Harbor  or the Maine Medical Center Department of Psychiatry  and continuing advanced training in their area of proficiency. This practice level is reserved for those who have completed at least 2 years at the SW/CC III level and have demonstrated both leadership and advanced clinical skills.

Advancement Guidelines

Advancement within the professional ladder involves the following minimum application requirements:

  • A letter of intent / professional portfolio
  • A copy of a valid state license
  • Documentation of satisfactory job performance
  • Current minimum work schedule of 20 hours per week
  • Three letters of support/recommendation

Peer Committee

Applications for advancement are reviewed twice per year by a Peer Committee and Application Review Committee. These committees include social work and clinical counselor representatives from across the treatment programs of Spring Harbor Hospital and Maine Medical Center's Department of Psychiatry. Candidates for advancement will be invited to attend a committee meeting to support their applications and answer questions.

Advancement Domains

Upward movement within the career ladder focuses on participation and leadership in such advanced clinical skills as the following:

  • Hospital committees
  • Clinical supervision
  • Professional organizations
  • Teaching activities
  • Research/publishing
  • New initiatives
  • Clinical expert" / "recognized resource" role

Professional Maintenance

To maintain their current level of practice, Spring Harbor social workers and clinical counselors are required to submit the following documentation annually:

  • Valid license to practice in the State of Maine
  • Documentation of satisfactory performance
  • Evidence of continued performance at practice level at time of evaluation

Social workers and clinical counselors also may elect to redefine their responsibilities and resume a previous level of practice. Spring Harbor social workers and clinical counselors can learn more about professional growth tracks by contacting the Peer Committee.

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