Akron Children’s is excited to announce a brand new program for newly hired nurses called the University Health System Consortium and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (UHC/AACN) Nurse Residency Program (NRP). The program’s aim is to enhance the knowledge and skills learned in the hospital’s traditional nursing orientation program while focusing on helping newly graduated nurses with the transition from student nurse to a professional role.
The UHC/AACN program is built on an evidence-based curriculum, considered the gold standard of nurse residency programs. Akron Children’s will be the fifth free standing pediatric hospital in the nation to use this residency program, joining Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Dallas Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
“Newly graduated nurses have a greater responsibility for patient care at an earlier stage in their careers than they did in the past,” said Nancy Mosca, director, nursing professional practice. “Nurse residency programs are designed to take the novice learner from new graduate to more competent patient care provider.”
Currently 15 nurses are enrolled in the first cohort of the year-long program. Under the direction of Maggie Taylor, MSN, RN, nurse residency program coordinator, nurse residents will receive guidance and support from Master’s prepared program facilitators and primary and secondary preceptors with a minimum of 2-years nursing experience focusing on bedside leadership, critical thinking and reasoning, and patient safety.
“There is a dire need for well-educated nurses who are skilled in evidence-based practice and comfortable using nursing outcomes data to improve patient safety and care,” said Mosca. “Nurse residency programs are designed to increase job satisfaction and reinforce professional commitment to the nursing profession, contributing to the long-range goal of alleviating the nursing shortage.”
Throughout the program nurse residents will receive 4 hours of monthly education on topics like stress management, compassion fatigue, inter-professional communication, pain management, ethical decision making, end-of-life care, and goal setting.
The nurses will be expected to complete a group evidence-based practice project on a nurse sensitive indicator, clinical policy revision, or clinical care issue over the course of the 12-month program.
“We hope the NRP helps our nurses feel empowered, supported, and invested in their work environment,” said Mosca. “Our patients and families will benefit as we provide them with more committed, engaged caregivers who will be better equipped to provide safe and quality care.”