Nurse Residencies

Nurse Residencies: Building a Better Future for Nurses and Patients
The need for nurses is projected to increase over the next 10 years as the number of older adults, known as the Baby Boomer generation, also increases. Approximately 75% of registered nurses (RNs) in the United States are ages 50-64 and 55% of currently employed nurses planning to retire by 2020 (Cochran, 2017). The bottom line is that there is simply not a sufficient number of new nurses to keep up with the increasing demand. Additionally, newly licensed nurses tend to leave their first positions at an alarming rate due to numerous factors (XX). Nurse leaders and educators from various institutions strive to discover the most efficient and successful orientation programs for their new graduate nurses. The Institute of Medicine (2010) issued a recommendation to establish nurse residency programs (NRP) to support newly licensed nurses in the transition to practice in an effort to improve retention rates and meet increasing demand for registered nurses. The transition to practice experience may provide a useful process to integrate nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes of newly graduated nurses before they assume the professional nurses’ roles. This paper will discuss how nurse residency programs are an effective strategy to retain nurses in active practice by providing additional education, experience, and support during the first year of practice.
The Purpose of Nurse Residency Programs
Nurse Residency Programs (NRP) focus on new graduate nurses as they enter practice. These programs need to go beyond basic orientation and provide a clinical preceptorship focused not just on delivering competent care, but also in how to develop and grow in the nursing profession. The most effective programs are 12 months in duration but can vary in length by program. The primary focus being on mentor/preceptor support with structured didactic content to assist newly licensed registered nurses to develop successfully in their professional role (Cochran, 2017). The innovative structures and processes of nurse residency programs strive to provide new nurses the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for successful transition to professional practice in the delivery of quality patient care. Successful nurse residency programs may incorporate education in other areas of clinical practice including delegation, prioritization, communication skills, leadership, conflict resolution, critical-thinking skills and professional socialization to assist the new nurse to independent practice. Overall, the goal of new graduate nurse residency programs is to provide a platform for novice nurses to successfully transition to a competent professional nurse in the clinical setting.
The Value of Nurse Residency Programs
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) created one of the nation’s largest nurse residency programs, called the Vizient/AACN program (Poynton, Madden, Bowers & Keefe, 2007). This curriculum has been adopted by facilities around the country including the University of Utah, Methodist Hospital of Houston, Texas (TMH) and the University of Texas, Houston (Pine & Tart, 2007). The Vizient/AACN program curriculum was developed around primarily evidenced-based curriculum and integrates three core areas: leadership, professional development and patient outcomes (Poynton, Madden, Bowers & Keefe, 2007). UCLA Health is a local Los Angeles-based facility that offers a New Graduate Nurse Residency Program aligned with the Vizient/AACN curriculum. This program accepts applicants twice a year and the program lasts for approximately one year.
Benefits of Nurse Residency Programs
According to their program materials, UCLA Health describes the benefits of this program for new graduate nurse residents to include: leadership and critical thinking skills, relationship building, competence and confidence in decision making, efficiency and safety on the floor, access to a learning network, satisfaction and professional commitment, consistent use of evidence-based practices, and quality of care (UCLA Health, n.d.). Throughout the year, new graduate nurses are oriented to UCLA hospital systems, nursing department, standards of care, and clinical skills lab. The program also includes monthly education sessions, unit-based orientation and educational programs and unit-based preceptors and mentors. Additionally, retaining new graduate nurses through a residency program assists UCLA Health in maintaining Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (UCLA Health, n.d.).
Structured classroom-based learning opportunities are a huge benefit of nurse residency programs. Quality residency programs affect new nurses’ education and clinical skills by providing new nurses with the opportunity to improve their nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Examples include curriculum integration of practical exercises like simulation, lecture-based education seminars and encouragement of independent reading of structured material to best accommodate diverse styles of learning in a cohort. Education curriculum that some programs tend to implement include topics reflective of the QSEN core competency skills including: patient-centered care, safety, team work, evidence based practice, quality improvement, and informatics (Kim, Lee, Eudey, Lounsbury, ; Wede, 2015). According to a study that examined new nurses enrolled in a RN residency program at a state funded California university, novice nurses perceived the higher levels of nursing competence, skills, and con?dence in providing nursing care by the end of the program (Kim, Lee, Eudey, Lounsbury, ; Wede, 2015).

Nurse Residencies: Building a Better Future for Nurses and Patients
The need for nurses is projected to increase over the next 10 years as the number of older adults, known as the Baby Boomer generation, also increases. Approximately 75% of registered nurses (RNs) in the United States are ages 50-64 and 55% of currently employed nurses planning to retire by 2020 (Cochran, 2017). The bottom line is that there is simply not a sufficient number of new nurses to keep up with the increasing demand. Additionally, newly licensed nurses tend to leave their first positions at an alarming rate due to numerous factors (XX). Nurse leaders and educators from various institutions strive to discover the most efficient and successful orientation programs for their new graduate nurses. The Institute of Medicine (2010) issued a recommendation to establish nurse residency programs (NRP) to support newly licensed nurses in the transition to practice in an effort to improve retention rates and meet increasing demand for registered nurses. The transition to practice experience may provide a useful process to integrate nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes of newly graduated nurses before they assume the professional nurses’ roles. This paper will discuss how nurse residency programs are an effective strategy to retain nurses in active practice by providing additional education, experience, and support during the first year of practice.
The Purpose of Nurse Residency Programs
Nurse Residency Programs (NRP) focus on new graduate nurses as they enter practice. These programs need to go beyond basic orientation and provide a clinical preceptorship focused not just on delivering competent care, but also in how to develop and grow in the nursing profession. The most effective programs are 12 months in duration but can vary in length by program. The primary focus being on mentor/preceptor support with structured didactic content to assist newly licensed registered nurses to develop successfully in their professional role (Cochran, 2017). The innovative structures and processes of nurse residency programs strive to provide new nurses the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for successful transition to professional practice in the delivery of quality patient care. Successful nurse residency programs may incorporate education in other areas of clinical practice including delegation, prioritization, communication skills, leadership, conflict resolution, critical-thinking skills and professional socialization to assist the new nurse to independent practice. Overall, the goal of new graduate nurse residency programs is to provide a platform for novice nurses to successfully transition to a competent professional nurse in the clinical setting.
The Value of Nurse Residency Programs
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) created one of the nation’s largest nurse residency programs, called the Vizient/AACN program (Poynton, Madden, Bowers & Keefe, 2007). This curriculum has been adopted by facilities around the country including the University of Utah, Methodist Hospital of Houston, Texas (TMH) and the University of Texas, Houston (Pine & Tart, 2007). The Vizient/AACN program curriculum was developed around primarily evidenced-based curriculum and integrates three core areas: leadership, professional development and patient outcomes (Poynton, Madden, Bowers & Keefe, 2007). UCLA Health is a local Los Angeles-based facility that offers a New Graduate Nurse Residency Program aligned with the Vizient/AACN curriculum. This program accepts applicants twice a year and the program lasts for approximately one year.
Benefits of Nurse Residency Programs
According to their program materials, UCLA Health describes the benefits of this program for new graduate nurse residents to include: leadership and critical thinking skills, relationship building, competence and confidence in decision making, efficiency and safety on the floor, access to a learning network, satisfaction and professional commitment, consistent use of evidence-based practices, and quality of care (UCLA Health, n.d.). Throughout the year, new graduate nurses are oriented to UCLA hospital systems, nursing department, standards of care, and clinical skills lab. The program also includes monthly education sessions, unit-based orientation and educational programs and unit-based preceptors and mentors. Additionally, retaining new graduate nurses through a residency program assists UCLA Health in maintaining Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (UCLA Health, n.d.).
Structured classroom-based learning opportunities are a huge benefit of nurse residency programs. Quality residency programs affect new nurses’ education and clinical skills by providing new nurses with the opportunity to improve their nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Examples include curriculum integration of practical exercises like simulation, lecture-based education seminars and encouragement of independent reading of structured material to best accommodate diverse styles of learning in a cohort. Education curriculum that some programs tend to implement include topics reflective of the QSEN core competency skills including: patient-centered care, safety, team work, evidence based practice, quality improvement, and informatics (Kim, Lee, Eudey, Lounsbury, ; Wede, 2015). According to a study that examined new nurses enrolled in a RN residency program at a state funded California university, novice nurses perceived the higher levels of nursing competence, skills, and con?dence in providing nursing care by the end of the program (Kim, Lee, Eudey, Lounsbury, ; Wede, 2015).

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