Acute Care nurse earns certification; medical surgical registered nurse

Submitted by

Kate Stephens


Cabinet Peaks Medical Center is proud to announce the certification of Acute Care Nurse Lexi McFarland, RN, CMSRN as a Certified Medical Surgical Registered Nurse.

The CMSRN exam requires an RN to have practiced at least two years in the medical surgical setting, and have at least 2,000 hours of practice in the last 3 years in that medical surgical setting. Medical surgical nurses are the largest nursing specialty in the United Stated, providing care to a wide variety of patients across the continuum of care.

“Getting certified in Medical-Surgical nursing was a goal of mine that took two years to prepare for, since one of the requirements is to have been working in a med-surg setting for two years,” stated McFarland.  “Nursing is my passion, and through my nursing career I have set many goals and taken the steps needed in order to achieve them.  All the small steps I have taken have shaped my personal and professional life.  I believe this certification is important to CPMC because it shows the community how dedicated our nurses are to their profession and our awesome little hospital.”

“Additionally, CPMC is a critical access hospital that serves a rural population.  Although the population of Lincoln County is small, we see the same illness and disease as larger communities.  This certification covers a variety of disease processes and surgical procedures that our patients deal with while staying in our hospital.  With this certification, I feel I am better equipped to care for our patients,” added McFarland.

Kimberlee Rebo, RN, CMSRN, Acute Care Manager at Cabinet Peaks is proud of this accomplishment.  “We are extremely proud of Lexie for making the commitment to become certified in Medical Surgical Nursing.  It shows a high level of understanding the complex patient population that we primarily serve in Lincoln County.  Lexie has always been dedicated to providing high quality care to our patients and community; her certification shows her commitment to excellence.”

McFarland joined the nursing staff at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center three years ago and has been providing care as a Registered Nurse for 7 years.  She would like to acknowledge and say a special thank you to her co-workers who motivated her to be a better nurse.  “We have an incredible team here that cares about our patients and the community, and I’m so proud to be a part of that!”

Libby Society of American Foresters hosts guest speaker

By Brian Baxter

Kootenai Forest Supervisor Chad Benson addresses SAF meeting attendees. Photo by Brian Baxter, The Montanian.


The Libby Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) hosted Chad Benson, Kootenai National Forest Supervisor as their guest speaker on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Venture Inn.

The SAF is a state and national scientific and educational organization representing the forestry profession. This organization has been evolving forest management since 1900. They stand for thriving forests, essential resources, and strong communities. Members seek to challenge land owners, decision makers, and society at large to make choices about our forests based on professional knowledge, and over a century of practical experience. Their motto is: For the greatest good. For the greatest number. For the long run.

Gathered were about 25 folks ages from 25 to 85 including some of the most experienced men and women in the field of local forestry. Many of this group were around in the heyday of timber sales and logging in our communities. In those days, the mills were thriving and annual harvests could reach as high as 180 million board feet of timber.

This assembly included working foresters, lumber company representatives, hearty loggers, conservation group representatives, and each and every one of them was a sincerely concerned local community member.

The meeting started off with retired forest supervisor Bob Castaneda talking about the SAF Student Intern Program. This program is offered by SAF, Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and Montana Dept. of Natural Resources & Conservation. Foresters and Wildlife Biologists take interested students to the field and expose them to what these professions are all about. SAF and the associated agencies are working on agreements at this stage. They are hoping to find young people interested in forestry and related fields that would like to attend technical schools, colleges, and find jobs in these professions.

The guest speaker, Chad Benson, began by sharing with the group a bit about himself. Benson is a native Montanan, from Plains who also spent time working in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. He then studied engineering and found himself working building Olympic Games arenas and parks. He eventually returned to the area of his upbringing, and back to our steep, rugged forests with an enhanced and special appreciation and feel for our communities.

Benson mentioned that as of late, Kootenai National Forest personnel have been meeting with state partners, Lincoln County and Libby Officials. They are looking down the road and examining what the reality is of resources, budgets, and community coordination. They hope to use local workers whenever possible, which includes contracting and stewardship opportunities.

Forest Service Managers have been challenged lately by confusing and erratic hiring procedures. Kootenai National Forest personnel are also busy with potential mining activities, working with Rock Creek and Monatore staff.

Benson also discussed the agency having to deal with many instances of illegal activities on the forest. He emphasized that with a large area forest, and limited resources for law enforcement, there are challenges. He touched on concerns about fire workforce and discretionary funds which can be a balancing act when funding is tied to demographics. SAF members brought up the lack of forest road and trail signs. Benson acknowledged that his team has discussed this topic in recent meetings. When asked how collaboration efforts are going, the Forest Supervisor mentioned that it’s good to see them blossom, but these efforts involve many volunteers and not everyone can continually volunteer for long periods. He wrapped up by saying, “Bear with us, let’s see where we’re at a year from now.” I

f you are interested in joining the SAF, email Russ at gotro7@out look.com.