Sunday, November 10, 2013


Some information is finally coming in about Maura's time studying to be a nurse at UMass. I've spoken to a couple of her classmates who did clinical rotations with her and here's what they say:

Their class was large, about 70 students. But the class was then divided into groups of 6-8, for clinicals. Clinicals are a way for students to get first-hand knowledge of nursing. Students travel to area hospitals and are given a patient or two. It's a 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift. They work for seven hours then meet together and kind of debrief before traveling back to campus. Most everyone car-pooled.

In the Spring of 2004, Maura had clinicals twice a week. One day was spent at the Providence mental hospital in Holyoke. The other was done at Norwood Hospital's labor and deliver unit, in Norwood (an hour and a half drive, it's nearer Quincy/Weymouth).

Her class list: Pharmacology; Mental Health; Maternity; Research in Nursing.

Classmates describe her as quiet, reserved. She didn't really have friends in the program.

Given that she was actively studying labor and delivery and mental health I'm not sure how much importance we can put on those internet searches related to pregnancy before she disappeared. More to come.


  1. People on a nursing forum ( ) seem to think it was odd that she went so far away for clinicals.

    Personally, I would be interested to see a list of the options for clinicals in 2004. It seems likely that there would have been options significantly closer to campus, especially since undergraduate students are rarely expected to have their own transportation. It seems possible that Maura chose this site for an unusual reason.

    Looking at the map, it is notable that Norwood is in fact significantly closer to Boston than it is to Amherst. In fact, Norwood seems almost to be part of the extended Boston Metropolitan area. There might be reason for Maura to choose that clinicals site if she had someone she wanted to see, or something she wanted to do, in Boston.

    Furthermore, it is extremely tempting to note how directly Norwood leads to the Franconia Notch State Park via I-95 and I-93. Is it possible that she could have taken that route when she ran away?

  2. As a nurse I can tell you that sometimes you do not have a choice where you do your clinicals. There were plenty of students who had to travel great distances due to restrictions on clinical sizes and a limited amount of sites. It's not unusual to travel a significant amount to get to your clinical sites.

  3. You may occasional get asked for your first and second choices, but sometimes you are simply assigned a site.