New Graduate Nurse Residency: A Network Approach

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Newly graduated RNs are the workforce of the future. The complex healthcare environment makes the transition from new graduate to competent RN challenging. A structured support system is essential to smooth the transition process. Nursing residency programs are well established in the literature as a mechanism of support. This article describes the implementation of a system-level new-graduate nurse residency across multiple facilities.

Healthcare organizations have increasing needs for RNs as the population ages and presents increasing demands for healthcare services. The United States is on the verge of a healthcare crisis related to the shortage of RNs. New-graduate nurses are the largest pool of nurses available for recruitment across the nation. These new RNs who are transitioning to practice will be used to meet the challenges of the impending nursing shortage. Complicating the transition into practice for new graduates is the acuity of hospitalized patients today. The acuity of patients admitted to the acute care setting is on the rise, leading to an increasingly complex healthcare environment.

Organizational performance and efficiency can be improved through the alignment of strategic processes at multiple levels. A multihospital network in Southwest Ohio worked to align organizational processes across the network at the NRP level. Two organizations in the system, organization A and organization B, had active NRPs. Both programs were designed to support the new graduate’s transition into practice. At a high level, the 2 programs appeared to be vastly different; however, the programs shared several similar characteristics such as a formalized didactic component focused on skill attainment and informal emotional support. The network was committed to ensuring the consistent success of the new graduates’ transition to practice while maximizing conservation of valuable nursing resources. The nursing executive team made the strategic decision to move the network to a single standardized NRP model. The purpose of this project was to align organizational processes related to the NRPs and to provide direction for implementation of a standardized network-wide NRP.



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