Nursing Residency Program Begins

Graduate nurse, Deborah Newman learns what's expected of her, now that she's a nurse resident. A senior nurse in day surgery instructs,  " as part of the program, I have you coming in at six o'clock in the morning. That's what time all first starts come in."

Just the start of an 18 month comprehensive nursing residency program. Newman and five other nursing residents will receive ongoing evaluations and extensive clinical and classroom instruction. The schedule is vigorous, but the residency program offers support every step along the way. Resident nurse, Dale King said, " They're going to be with you. You're just not thrown to the wolves. You're going to have a preceptor. It's organized. There's structure to it."

Nurses like the smoother transition. Hospitals like to provide it because it reduces the huge problem of high turnover. Ed Price, Chief Clinical Officer at Nacogdoches Medical Center said,  " Right now the new graduate turnover rate the first year in the United States is about 35%. By the second year, 55%, so half the people that are hired at hospitals as new grads leave."

Some nurses can't meet the fast paced demands. Others know they can make the demands.   King had his pick of places to work.    " It is easy to get a job if you're a new nurse."  but he chose Nacogdoches to take advantage of the residency program and escape the traffic jams he accustomed to his former home of Dallas.

Pressure is put on the hospital. Senior nurses must provide not only instruction, but also appreciation. Mentors serve as 'buddies' to help new RN's through new territory. The extra friendly service is important   because in a year and half the hospital will want to retain the well instructed and confident registered nurses.