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.