Presque Isle – Revered operating room nurse Paula Michaud passed away unexpectedly on September 11th, 2022, leaving behind colleagues and friends searching for a way to honor her dedication to healthcare in Aroostook County. Michaud served the community for more than 30 years, working at both Cary Medical Center and Northern Light A.R. Gould, where held rank as lead nurse in the operating room. After a full career, Paula planned to retire in 2024.
After the funeral on September 16th, held at the Mockler Funeral Home in Caribou, Paula’s colleagues sought a way to ensure her memory lived on in the community. According to Amy Durland Faulkner, a fellow nurse who considered Paula a mentor and “second mom,” Paula’s expertise and level of care for patients in Aroostook County is unmatched, and her loss offers an opportunity to honor the impact of her life and work. “Paula was a mentor to many others, and she truly cared for her patients and fellow employees,” Faulkner said.
Faulkner and her colleagues approached Northern Maine Community College—Paula’s alma mater, where she regularly returned to train students—to create a memorial scholarship in Paula’s name, the Paula Michaud Memorial Scholarship. Since establishing the Memorandum of Understanding, donations have arrived by mail and through the website from friends, colleagues, and family members eager to build this scholarship toward endowment level, which would allow the fund to be self-sustaining and ensure its long-term viability. Scholarships become endowed when they reach $10,000.
To honor Paula’s work, the scholarship will be awarded each fall to two second-year nursing students. During the program, students perform clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities to gain real-world experience. Paula worked closely with these students as a preceptor for years, impacting many lives along the way and helping to ensure that our community provided the highest level of care. She also worked closely with NMCC faculty to ensure students received the best training available.
“Paula Michaud graduated from the nursing program at NMCC in the mid-90s but never forgot her nursing roots,” said NMCC Nursing Department Chair Eileen McDougal. “She was committed to sharing her passion for the profession of nursing with nursing students, returning almost every year as a featured presenter in the perioperative seminar. She was warm and inviting, often serving as a preceptor and inspirational role model in the operating room for senior nursing students.”
Donations can be mailed to The NMCC Foundation at 33 Edgemont Drive, Presque Isle, ME 04769 or through the Donation portal on nmcc.edu, identifying the name of the scholarship in the comment box.
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