New Graduate Residency versus a regular Full time RN position

  1. 1
    I am a new graduate nurse with a BSN and I passed my boards in July. I have applied for many positions and now i was offered two. One is a residency on a Neuro/orthopedic unit and they will pay for my relocation, tuition reimbursement, and it is a full time position with the pay of an RN with a bachelors degree. The second is just a regular full time position on a neuro/orthopedic unit. My question is does a residency look good or bad on a resume? Also is it better to just take a regular full time nursing position? Some new graduates are telling me not to take the residency because they will treat me as if im a student and its better to just fall right into nursing rather than take your time. Another new graduate said she didn't take a residency because they baby you and that they do not look good on a resume. I really believe the residency is the better choice but I'm worried.
    lindarn likes this.

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  2. 14 Comments...

  3. 6
    It really depends on the residency program as no two are alike. Hell, no two Versant (brand) programs are alike. Even hospitals within the same system differ: there is a university hospital in my state that has three hospitals in their system, one has a new grad orientation that runs for whole year, and the two others are 12-18 weeks. In my opinion, nursing education in the past decade has shifted from "training nurses" to "producing graduates who can pass the NCLEX." New graduate programs serve to address gaps in knowledge/practicum.

    I'm in a "residency" program right now (I think of it more as a orientation targeted at transitioning new graduates); I dig it, tons of networking, and up-to-date evidence based practice and information. I have a three patient load (I'm one month in) and my preceptor serves as a conduit for guidance. They don't baby you unless they truly feel you are being unsafe or need to move at a slower pace. (Everyone learns at a different pace.)

    On another note, why are you listening to your fellow new graduates? This sounds like the blind leading the blind. If residency programs were so "bad" then why the hell does UCLA, USC, UC Davis, Stanford, etc. tote them? And why do you care about how they look on a resume? Are you going to switch out of jobs immediately? By the time you look for another job, you will have a good 1-2 years of experience under your belt, rendering the 4 months of residency minuscule to your actual on the floor experience.

    At the end of the day, it's really up to you. Don't base an important life decision from what you read on an internet forum where anyone can be anyone and type whatever they want.
    Last edit by pknurse on Aug 25, '13 : Reason: info
    JCironMan, Benj2610, llg, and 3 others like this.
  4. 3
    I don't think you should worry about what's going to look good on a resume, because you're going to put your nursing experience on a resume, not what sort of training you received in the beginning. Residency title aside, are there other parts of the job offers that are making you lean one way or another?
    DSkelton711, SE_BSN_RN, and lindarn like this.
  5. 1
    I just finished a residency and I loved every minute of it. 6 months of supervised orientation is much better than 4-6 weeks and turn you loose. I did the first job and when I had the chance to get in a new grad residency, I jumped. I just had a SLAMMED day and I was properly prepared b/c of the residency.

    I don't care about my resume, but I would think it would be a plus to have a residency. One, that you were worth the time that the program invests in you AND the training you get. I personally think it makes one a better nurse having gone through it.
    DSkelton711 likes this.
  6. 0
    This is a good topic. I also graduated recently with a BSN. I approached it from a different perspective though and it may only apply in my area (TX). I was accepted into a Versant Residency program that is 4+ months long. I was also excepted into a regular entry level position that includes an 8 week precept period. Both are in the same specialty by the way. The residency paid $21.50 per hour. The entry level position paid $27 per hour. Most residency programs in my area don't pay well I don't know your situation but I took that into consideration.
  7. 2
    Currently in an 18 week Versant program and absolutely love it. From what I've heard from recruiters, it's a great thing to have on your résumé for the future. In these residencies you get a bit of everything regardless of what unit you're on - for example, we had lectures and lab time with vents (even though med Surg won't have them) and an arrhythmia course. Granted, this is just my experience. Yours may be entirely different. I feel supported instead of babied. They treat us like we're learning but in no way see us as anyone else other than a nurse.

    And the perks you mentioned sound totally worth it! :-)
    JCironMan and DSkelton711 like this.
  8. 0
    Thank you for bringing this up. I am about to start my senior year in a BSN program and was contemplating the same thing. Thanks for the perspectives.
  9. 2
    Take the residency. Positions that offer tuition reimbursement are hard to come by these days. Also, the residency will not only help you hone your nursing skills, it will make you a safer and more confident nurse in the long run. Four years ago, I was hired at my present hospital BECAUSE OF my residency training. My manager admitted this to me when I was trying to get a former classmate a position at my hospital. He regarded my friend as not having as much experience as I do, and yet we both graduated at the same time.
    DSkelton711 and SE_BSN_RN like this.
  10. 0
    I plan on applying to a residency program, also. Why frown on that? Would you rather get a week or so long orientation, or 16 or so weeks of preceptoring/mentoring for the job you applied for....unless you are only planning to do it 1-2 years? MD's do residencies, they also get paid....of course, pay is going to be lower that the regular position. I would take it, if I were you. They just don't take everyone that applies.
  11. 1
    I did a residency program and it was great! My program did include classroom time, but the topics are focused on what you'll be doing in your specialty. I work in critical care so we had EKG classes, critical care classes, etc. The classroom time is interspersed with time out on your floor with a preceptor. When you're finished with the program you still feel like a scared new nurse (I did, anyway), but I thought I was better off afterwards.
    SE_BSN_RN likes this.


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