Why did Heather Lefebvre, BSN, RN, become a nurse?
Published Nov. 30, 2021

“I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives – especially during one of their most vulnerable periods.”

While still a student at UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Lefebvre discovered her interest in working on the general medicine floor at UVM Medical Center. Thanks to the Pipeline Program, a partnership between the hospital and college, she was able to train under an experienced mentor and get hired for her choice assignment before graduation.

Launched in 2019, the Pipeline Program leverages the strength of the relationship between UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences and UVM Medical Center Division of Nursing and Human Resources. Through this program, nursing students can identify areas of interest and, if they are a good fit, be hired into a position at UVM Medical Center. If they commit to staying for two years, they earn a $5,000 bonus at the end of that time period.

So far, the Pipeline Program has hired a total of 20 nurses and 12 more nurses are currently enrolled.

Spending three months as a student doing her capstone clinical rotation on the general medicine floor gave her confidence when she returned as an RN in June 2020, Lefebvre says. “On the general medicine floor, we see patients across all age ranges, and all health conditions, literally anything and everything that doesn’t fall under one of the specialties,” she continues. “I have been able to learn a lot very quickly. It can be hard, but I love it.”

Lefebvre sees the Pipeline Program as a win-win. It provides a steady pipeline of high-quality nurses for UVM Medical Center, while also giving new nurses like her a head start with their careers. A self-described “born-and-raised Vermonter,” Lefebvre says she’ll put the $5,000 bonus she receives next year toward a down payment on her own home.

To learn more about the partnership between UVM College of Nursing and Health Sciences and UVM Medical Center, please click here.

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