The Benefits of Nurse Residency Programs

There is an ongoing shortage in the field of nursing. Board of Labor projected a 22% increase in the need for nurses from the period of 1998 to 2008. Despite this trend, the number of students enrolling in nursing school continues to decline. (Lindsey and Kleiner, 2005) Unless this changes, the shortage of nurses will not end in the near future.

Yet, the problem doesn’t stop there. A surprising number of newly-graduated nurses abandon the career in less than a year. Many new graduates cite the main reason as a lack of preparedness for the responsibilities they face on the job. This, plus conflicting roles on the job and stress from overwork contribute heavily to turnover in the nursing field. High turnover also affects the morale of the staff nurses negatively, as they feel discouragement at training new nurses only to have them leave a short time later.

The statistics available for the nursing profession in regards to retention are discouraging, to say the least. Most studies place the rate of turnover between 35% and 60%. (Lindsey and Kleiner, 2005) In one particular case, 93 nurses underwent critical care orientation at a level one trauma center. Within the span of a year, only 8 of these nurses remained (retention of less than 9%). Exit interviews, in that case, revealed the primary reason for leaving was “dissatisfaction with orientation.” (Williams et al) .

It is immediately apparent that the nursing profession is in dire straits on two fronts- enrollment and retention. Simply put, not enough students are signing up in the first place. Of the ones that do, and continue on to graduate and find a nursing position, a substantial number are quitting within a year. Therefore, it can be concluded that the nursing field requires some drastic changes to met future challenges.

One of the recent innovations developed to combat these problems is the nurse residency program. Residencies have long served to properly educate and prepare doctors for the active practice of medicine. The same principles are applied to nursing in an attempt to both encourage increased enrollment in nursing programs and to decrease turnover.

        The benefits of a nursing residency program:.

Current staff nurses who served as mentors or precepts in this program have responded positively to the new policy, as they developed a greater sense of control over the direction of the program, and reported higher levels of enthusiasm when implementing the program. (Williams et al).

New staff nurses develop higher confidence in their ability to perform the necessary job functions as a result of participating in residency programs. The continued hands-on practice serves to acclimate the student to his or her responsibilities on the job. Additionally, the student’s feel more accountable for their own learning and retention of the material, and as a result are far more proactive in acquiring the knowledge and skills associated with the profession.

Socialization of new nurses takes place due to working alongside preceptors. The preceptors are experienced and established nursing professionals, who have volunteered to serve as a mentor to the new students. The two will work closely with one another in caring for patients, and otherwise attending to the regular duties of a nurse. This creates a teamwork oriented atmosphere and allows the mentoring nurses to feel valued for their greater experience. This also helps the students to feel like a contributing member of the team.

Nursing residency results in reduced costs associated with recruiting and training staff nurses. There is a significant saving in time spent on recruitment, as well as associated dollar values. The average time invested in the recruitment of a nurse is 60 to 90 days. Orientation programs can cost from $8,000 to $50,000. In 1989, hospital turnover costs were estimated at $25,000 on average.

Get a 10 % discount on an order above $ 100
Use the following coupon code :