From CNA to Director of Nursing
In her 20-year career at SALMON Health and Retirement, Nicole Croteau has held many roles – working as a CNA, as a nurse manager on a memory care unit and in her current role as Director of Nurses at Beaumont at Westboro. After leaving to pursue other opportunities within long-term care, Nicole ultimately decided to return to Beaumont, where she believed in the company’s philosophy and approach to care.
“There was a difference. I felt a difference,” she said.
In her role as Director of Nurses, Nicole is responsible for managing resident care in the building – that includes leading the nursing staff and overseeing the design of care plans to deliver the best possible outcomes for each individual resident across the short-term rehabilitation, long-term care and memory care neighborhoods.
Nicole is passionate about providing quality care for seniors, which translates into how she manages her team.
“I want people to hold their nursing standards just as high here as in any other healthcare environment,” she says. Leading by example, being fair and communicating expectations is how she views her leadership style.
Since rejoining Beaumont in August 2016, Nicole has overseen the revitalization of the community’s nurse mentor group. These peer leaders help to mentor and educate other nurses and CNAs, helping to train staff and contribute to their advancement and leadership within the team. She credits this program with creating a healthy staff culture and improving retention – enabling Beaumont at Westborough to better serve its residents.
Nicole believes that it’s important to truly know the people who live at Beaumont at Westborough in order to provide them with the best care and quality of life. That means understanding each person’s abilities and how it translates into every day interactions, like knowing how to provide comfort and support to someone who is exhibiting confusion. The simple act of knowing how someone takes their coffee can make all the difference.
“I’m particular about my coffee and appreciate when someone remembers how I take it,” she explains. “One woman who lives on the Tapestry Neighborhood responds beautifully to receiving coffee. I know she likes milk and just a little sugar and I make sure she gets it that way each day.”
It’s perhaps no surprise that Nicole approaches her work each day with such compassion. She is the mother of two children who attended preschool at SALMON Center for Early Education, located on SALMON’s Northbridge campus. Her grandmother was also a former resident at Northbridge for nearly 10 years, who reconnected with one of her sisters while they lived there together. Being a part of the fabric of the SALMON community for many years and through her dedication to serving seniors throughout her career, Nicole is a wonderful example of the best of Beaumont at Westborough.