RN Residency Program
Hahnemann University Hospital’s RN Residency Program nurtures and provides professional development for new nurses entering into a challenging, fast-paced, acute care setting. While as students they have learned the fundamental nursing theory in their respective nursing programs, they are now beginning a new chapter as they enter into their careers. With this transition from nursing student to a full-time practicing nurse comes a degree of uncertainty about their new roles and much more responsibility.
The RN Residency Program facilitates a smooth transition from student nurse into the new role of the graduate nurse. We at Hahnemann are committed to providing life-long learning, growth and development of nurses with the aim of advancing the nursing profession and providing a competent workforce to care for our acutely ill patients. The RN Residency Program follows Benner’s pathway from taking a graduate nurse from a novice level to the level of advanced beginner level within a 12-month timeframe. Our future vision is that these nurses continue to progress throughout the novice to expert continuum.
The program consists of monthly educational sessions in which speakers from different disciplines discuss vital topics and situations that the new nurse will encounter. There are select clinical topics of each body system with accompanying practice of skills; various fields of nursing, such as Flight Nursing; and exposure to how our practice is driven by quality issues on a countrywide level, such as the National Patient Safety Goals, Core Measures, etc. Besides providing education for enrichment of nursing clinical knowledge, the RN Residency program instills content on team dynamics and leadership skills and builds confidence for nurses as they develop in their new career.
One topic discussed during the program is evidence-based practice (EBP). Our nurses receive presentations on the elements that encompass EBP. It is stressed that EBP is the art of combining best-available research with clinical expertise and patient considerations. EBP empowers nurses to make a difference and leads to improved patient outcomes.
Our evaluation process is constant and entails direct feedback from nurses in the program, both via surveys and discussions. Our senior nurses on the units as well as nursing directors also provide suggestions for topics they believe would benefit new nurses.
Highlights of the RN Residency Program
- The program consists three months of didactic, clinical skills and team-building/delegation activities to foster critical thinking and professional growth with mentoring continuing for one year.
- Team-building activities help demonstrate team behaviors such as communication, problem-solving skills, trust and understanding other points of view.
- Critical thinking case studies are used to develop critical thinking skills.
- Nurses conclude the program by creating an evidence-based practice project highlighting a practice change initiative; nurses work in groups and are given ample time to design their presentations during RN Residency Program sessions.
- A graduation breakfast is held to recognize completion of the RN Residency Program with the nurses presenting their EBP projects to Nursing Administration, the Nursing Directors, Staff Education and each other. This is a wonderful event celebrating the culmination of the program and their accomplishments!
- The Nurse Executive Council is actively involved by conducting 30-, 60-, 90- and 180-day reviews for benchmarking attitudes.