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New Nurse Residency Will Accept First Cohort Summer 2013

by Sharon Glazer, MPH | February 01, 2013

With the goal of successfully transitioning newly graduated registered nurses into professional practice, the Department of Nursing Practice and Professional Development has launched a one-year Nurse Residency Program in collaboration with the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Similar to medical residency, this program will guide nurses “from supervision to autonomy as they make their transition from novice student to competent practicing nurse," says Cara Chandler, RN, MS, Program Manager of the new residency.

"Nurse turnover has become a universal health care challenge," explains Chandler. She notes that Baystate Health data is consistent with the finding that 25 - 30% of new nurses in the U.S. typically turnover within the first three years of practice. Other UHC/AACN residency facilities have demonstrated that the nurse residency program decreases the turnover rate of new nurses caused by a poor transition experience.

According to Patricia Samra RN, MS, Director Clinical Workforce Planning and Finance, the number of residents accepted will be based on Baystate’s Workforce Strategic Plan. Residency graduates will form a pool from which nurse managers across all of Baystate Health can hire. The five year plan is for all new nurses to come in through the residency.

In recent years, Baystate Medical Center has hired 40 - 60 newly graduated nurses annually and that number is anticipated to grow as the effects of the projected national nursing shortage are realized. “This gives us an opportunity now in anticipation of more hires down the road. We will have a well-oiled process in place,” says Joan Roche, RN, PhD, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Baystate Health will seek accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), an autonomous accrediting agency which ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing. The UHC curriculum is used by 99% of those programs already accredited by CCNE.