Residency vs. Orientation?

  1. The hospitals to which I'm applying are about half/half as to their offering either a residency program or a standard orientation for new grads. Is one better than another? If so, why? What would make you choose one over the other?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   hiddencatRN
    I'd want to know exactly what the residency and the "standard" orientation involved. What the hospital calls it alone doesn't really give you a good picture.
  4. by   llg
    I strongly agree with the previous poster. The terms "residency," "internship," new grad program," etc. have all become marketing tools that employers use to attract applicants. You have to look beyond the marketing hype to the nitty-gritty details of each program to make a decent decision. One employer might have a lousy program and give it a fancy name -- and another may have a more humble marketing strategy but actually have a great program.

    You'll need to do your homework on each possible employer in order to make an informed decision.
  5. by   haunani
    Residency: 12 month program, rotating among different departments, has assignments (homework), doesn't necessarily guarantee a position with the hospital upon completion

    Orientation: 6-12 weeks, standard new-hire orientation (preceptor, hired directly into position)
  6. by   noyesno
    The residency sounds great up until, "doesn't necessarily guarantee a position with the hospital upon completion."

    My impression was residencies were better than standard orientation but with no guarantee of a job, they don't sound so great anymore.
  7. by   herowneulogy
    Quote from haunani
    Residency: 12 month program, rotating among different departments, has assignments (homework), doesn't necessarily guarantee a position with the hospital upon completion

    Orientation: 6-12 weeks, standard new-hire orientation (preceptor, hired directly into position)
    Not necessarily. Some hospitals hire the new grad and REQUIRE you to be part of their nurse residency program, which lasts up to a year and fosters leadership, competency and confidence. It's how they retain new nurses. All of the residencies programs I've researched thus far in NY, MD, NC, VA, all hire the new grad into the institution.

    Orientation can be be up to 12 months depending on what position the new grad is applying for. Critical care and ER positions that accept new grads train from 5 months to 1 year.


    The residency programs that I don't like are the ones that require you to stick around for an additional 2 years, essentially tying you to the hospital even when you may end up not liking it after a year.
  8. by   hiddencatRN
    Quote from haunani
    Residency: 12 month program, rotating among different departments, has assignments (homework), doesn't necessarily guarantee a position with the hospital upon completion

    Orientation: 6-12 weeks, standard new-hire orientation (preceptor, hired directly into position)
    Yeah, you really can't make that generalization at all. My "orientation" is 5 months long and extendable, I spent time with another department, have classes that I will need to prepare for and do homework for.

    In my area, the hospitals that have "residency" programs ONLY train new grads through those programs. You're hired as an employee, so can still be fired like any other employee but are considered employed. Some don't have a work committment, and in the year long ones the training part is done in about 6 months and the rest of the year is meetings every so often with the other new grads for educational seminars.

    Another thing to consider is where you're actually offered a job. I got 1 job offer so the "residency vs orientation" question was really only hypothetical for me. I applied to hospitals that called their new grad training residencies, orientations, internships, and new grad programs.
  9. by   haunani
    I wasn't trying to generalize ALL residencies and orientations. I'm well aware that there are differences in facilities and in programs. Of the hospitals I've spoken with, along with the few local ones we talk to in our program, those guidelines accurately describe the programs offered. Since those are the only institutions to which I'm applying, those are the descriptions I decided to use to tentatively define my use of the words "residency" and "orientation".

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