Nurse Residency Programs: An Essential Requirement for Nursing

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    Schools of nursing, hospital nursing leadership, and new graduates all strongly believe that additional competencies and knowledge beyond those obtained in the educational program are needed for a new graduate to successfully transition to the professional registered nurse role. Evidence from the evaluation of the UHC and the AACN residency program indicates that a 1-year residency is successful (Krugman et al., 2006; Pine & Tart, 2007; Williams et al., 2007). It is evident from the UHC/AACN research on new graduate residency programs that residents start out very positive about their abilities. By approximately 3 months for medical-surgical units and 6 months for critical care units, residents are taking patient-care assignments by themselves. Reality shock has set in, and self-perceptions about skills and abilities as well as satisfaction with various aspects of nursing plummet as residents realize how much they have to learn and how difficult the job of nursing really is. By the end of the 1 year, residents are regaining their confidence and can competently care for very ill patients and are given the accompanying autonomy and responsibility.
    Rest of the story: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/...24&uac=87363SX

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  4. 8 Comments so far...

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    What? Now we should impose the same residency obligations on nursing students as is put upon doctors? Great, but nurses, even the higher-ups, aren't making the same salaries as the docs, so go figure...
    Besides, does anyone actually believe that forcing stress on people really improves function? It can help you pick out folks who operate welll under stress, but that's it.
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    nurse residency programs are jobs. they just are a longer and more complete support for the new grad. im hoping to do one I think the purpose of them are so that you don't get overwhelmed and that you have support necessary to transition .
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    I don't get it. I guess I'm just too thick headed.

    I had 1 month as a new grad, with a bunch of different preceptors. Never on the same shift--yeah, that was 17 years ago--on a cardiac, telemetry floor with some real sick people....

    I guess they taught differently back then. At the end of my final semester, I had a full load on my own. The nurse I was "with" just sat back and watched me do everything.

    Just don't get it.....
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    Jo ... that's what a nurse residency is all about you get 6 months with a preceptor and for a year you do other trainings and support. the idea is that they don't 'throw you to the wolves'
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    I think it depends on the nurse and the area. And I agree.... they're trying to stop 'throwing you to the wolves'... which I think is great. Baptism by fire is a crappy way to learn anything.
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    Quote from JoPACURN
    I don't get it. I guess I'm just too thick headed.

    I had 1 month as a new grad, with a bunch of different preceptors. Never on the same shift--yeah, that was 17 years ago--on a cardiac, telemetry floor with some real sick people....

    I guess they taught differently back then. At the end of my final semester, I had a full load on my own. The nurse I was "with" just sat back and watched me do everything.

    Just don't get it.....
    I am in a new grad residency and I got hired directly into the MICU. I have completed a 4 week rotation on Med-Surg and was taking 5 patients on my own by the end of the 4 weeks. I am now in my ER rotation and is taking 4 patients on my own, as well as spending a 12 hour shift in triage and a 12 hour shift in Specials.

    I will be getting 20 weeks of orientation for MICU directly, which will include classroom time. This is my job I got hired directly for, but I will say my time spent on Med-Surg taught me how to priortize my patients, and how to juggle 5 patients, all with different needs. My assessment skills also improved. My time in ER is teaching me how to respond to traumas, code blues, and I'm really getting good at which patient I will see first. I am also improving on my IV starts and blood draws, as well as straight caths and EKG's.

    I graduated in May 2009 with my BSN. This is a second career for me. I spent one year working as a Tech on a Med-Tele floor while in nursing school. When I was working as a tech, I did some foley's, but mostly did IV removal's, I & O, vital signs, and blood sugars. When I was in nursing school, the most patients I had to take care at one time was TWO. Yes, TWO! I did my Capstone partically in the OR and the rest in PACU, and I didnt have to pass meds, or do IV insertions, and I maybe got to insert two foleys at the most.

    Prior to my senior year in nursing school, I spent one day in the GI lab doing IV's. I did a total of 10 and got them all on the first try. However, that was in my junior year of nursing school, and I didnt get to do another IV until I started working as a New Grad RN.

    I think it's a shame that new grads are graduating from nursing school not having done an IV or foley, or had a full patient load because nursing schools are so focused on "presentations, leadership, and powerpoints". When we complained about the lack of prepariness, we were told we should focus on passing NCLEX, as we will learn all we need to know once we become a RN and working.

    I spent 14 years in corporate america, and I can work well under pressure. I understand the "sink or swim" mentality and I think I can adapt and flow accordingly. However, I am grateful for the new grad residency program because I really need a chance to "get it". Nursing school today does not prepare one for the real world of nursing. And please don't get me started on the selling of "the nursing shortgage" dream they gas us up with.
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    Quote from rn2bnwi
    Jo ... that's what a nurse residency is all about you get 6 months with a preceptor and for a year you do other trainings and support. the idea is that they don't 'throw you to the wolves'
    I understand. I mean the minute I was a GN, I had patients and was on my own in ONE month.

    By the last semester of nursing school, I either made it or not. My prof was a former army major.

    I think it has a lot to do with the way I was taught. I didn't feel like I was thrown to the wolves..I just...I don't know...DID IT....
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    Right now, there's a huge gap between what students know and what a successful floor nurse needs to know. I would support anything that would close that gap.

    I would have loved to do a nurse residency. I applied for a bunch. In school, we learned a lot of skills in the lab first or second semester, then never used them again until our final semester. Quite a few students failed last semester clinicals because of it.


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