New Nurse Residency Program for Nursing Grads

New Nurse Residency program aims to ease the transition for new nurses in Rochester.
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Aug. 12, 2019 3   min read

Rochester Regional Health is making it easier for graduating nurses to transition from the classroom to the clinical practice environment, thanks to Rochester Regional Health's new nurse residency program.

“We are committed to giving our patients the best quality care, and that means making sure our nurses have all the tools they need to deliver on this promise,” said Executive Vice President, Chief Nursing Education and Diversity Officer Deb Stamps, EdD, MBA, MS, RN. “Through working with experienced colleagues, our nurses will be able to perfect their skills and gain the confidence needed to provide extraordinary safe and compassionate care to their patients.”

The new nurse residency program is open to all newly licensed graduate nurses at Rochester Regional Health’s five hospitals and the Primary Care and Ambulatory Speciality Institute (PCASI):

  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic
  • Newark-Wayne Community Hospital
  • Rochester General Hospital
  • United Memorial Medical Center
  • Unity Hospital

The program is developed in partnership with the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ which has provided healthcare organizations with a transition-to-practice program for new graduate nurses since 2002 and is recognized by the Institute of Medicine as a model program.

The 1-year program officially launches November 2019 and aims to promote quality and safety, and reduce turnover rates for first-year nurses. The first group of residents will include more than 100 summer graduates.

Reducing nurse turnover rate

The national turnover rate for first-year registered nurses is 30-60 percent. The new nurse residency program is designed to decrease or eliminate turnover in the first year.  

“The abrupt transition from the classroom to an acute care setting is a big driver of the high turnover rate for first year nurses and is a huge expense for hospitals,” said Jayne Willingham, senior director of Vizient’s Nursing Leadership. “We are pleased that Rochester Regional Health has made the commitment to support their nurses in their professional development through a nurse residency program.”

How patients benefit

The new nurse residency program will provide patients with highly skilled nurses who are more adept at handling real-life situations upon completing the program. Long-time nurse and current Director of System Clinical Practice at Rochester Regional Health Valerie Grapensteter wishes the program was around when she became a nurse 10 years ago.

"There was nothing like this for me when I started. I would have loved to have this," said Grapensteter. "We get into nursing because we love taking care of people, but transitioning from school into that clinical environment is different.”

The new nursing program focuses on building on the foundation of knowledge that nurses gain in the classroom, expanding critical thinking skills and interprofessional care. "It takes a village to take care of the community that we serve, and nurses are a huge component of that.”

New nurses will partner with experienced nurses as their mentors to learn clinical skills and gain experience that will benefit them, patients and families who choose Rochester Regional Health to get that continued quality of care that they deliver.


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