Blog spotlight: Retaining new grads with residency programs

Nurse Leader Insider, July 6, 2009

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More than 60% of nurses end up leaving their job within the first two years of becoming a nurse. In this economy, nurse managers have to find ways to keep morale up and nurses in their positions. To make the transition between the classroom and hospital setting easier, many facilities are turning to residency programs.

For instance, Midland Memorial Hospital offers new nurses a four to six month Versant RN Residency Program, where expert nurses teach rookie nurses. "We go out and we pass off skills that these nurses have said they're doing all the time," says Kyle Comin, a new nurse who values the program very much. "We're getting the confidence in those basic skills that we know we'll be doing all the time."

St. John Health System has a nurse residency program with a classroom curriculum that aid new nurses' development. Nurses are assigned preceptors and regularly attend 8-hour classroom session to help develop the necessary skills to make them competent and confident within the field.

Sparrow Health System offers a 12-week program where new nurses rotate around different areas in the hospital to help them decide where they ultimately want to practice. During the 12-week period, the new nurses attend classes and also have a monthly meeting to help with the transition. At the end of the residency, the nurses are interviewed by nurse managers on units where positions are available.

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