Blog spotlight: How to get started with a nurse residency program

Nurse Leader Insider, July 25, 2011

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Want to build a nurse residency program for new graduates but not sure where to start? Kendra Varner, MSN, RN, nurse residency program coordinator for the Kettering Health Network in Dayton, OH, and contributing author to Nurse Residency Program Builder: Tools for a Successful New Graduate Program, offers the following steps to get your started.

What's the first step?

The first step is support. You need support from above if you want to start a successful program, so make sure you have someone who understands the return on investment who can champion the cause. 

Organizational culture is also important. The culture has to support nursing, education, etc. A culture that features low morale, quality, and job dissatisfaction are significant challenges as they tend to perpetuate themselves from one generation to the next (e.g., preceptors demonstrating poor attitudes and low quality care will result in new graduate nurses with the same behaviors). These issues must be addressed by nursing leadership.

If your organization struggles with low patient satisfaction and high nurse vacancy rates, then employee morale may be poor. It's important to have a positive culture. A good clinical working environment and a nurse residency program will make employment at your organization highly desirable among new graduate nurses in the area. It takes a village to raise a child. The residency program belongs to the entire organization and its success or failure cannot lie with the program leader alone.

To read the rest of this blog post and find out more best practices for getting started, click here.

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