“I knew right from the beginning I wanted to be in psychiatry,” said Kristen Lancaster, RN. “I’ve been in the mental health field ever since.”
Lancaster, nurse director for McLean SouthEast Adolescent Services and McLean SouthEast at Oak Street Adolescent Inpatient Program, has dedicated her career to helping teens and adolescents.
She started her nursing career in 1997 at Taunton State Hospital’s Adolescent Family Treatment Program before advancing to become the hospital’s assistant director of nursing in 2000 and director of nursing in 2001.
In 2003, she arrived at McLean. She previously served as nurse manager of the McLean SouthEast Adolescent Acute Residential Treatment (ART) Program, as well as nurse consultant to OCDI Jr., which provides world-class OCD treatment for children and adolescents.
In her current roles, Lancaster divides her time between working directly with patients (“blood draws, school nurse kind of stuff”) and managing a staff of community residence counselors and mental health specialists and other administrative roles.
“I started off as a brand-new nurse, and over the years I developed a lot of skills and confidence,” she said. “I now lead a group of staff and run a leadership training. It just took years of practice and confidence to be able to do it effectively.”