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Residency Program Ensures Nurses are Always Ready

RNs in the Nurse Residency Program at JPS Health Network learn the finer points of their trade.

JPS Health Network’s Nurse Residency Program has been accredited by the American Nurse Credentialing Center, an honor only a handful of healthcare organizations across the country can claim.

“Nursing is a hard job,” said RN Cherie Hall, Manager of the Nurse Residency Program at JPS. “Harder than a lot of people realize. Young nurses can be overwhelmed when they go from a classroom environment to working in a busy hospital. This certification is important because it shows prospective new nurses that JPS is going to prepare them in the best way possible to have a successful career. But this is important beyond the walls of JPS because it supports the field and keeps nurses in the profession, no matter where they eventually will end up.”

According to ANCC, it has accredited 162 nurse residency programs across the United States. Hall said the designation is important in promoting the profession of nursing and also in recruiting. Residency programs help inexperienced nurses make the transition from school to being established in their careers. Only 72 percent of nurses nationwide remain in the field after one year, but JPS has been able to retain 97 percent of the first-year nurses it has hired since 2018.

I was able to really hit the ground running with the confidence that I had the support I would need. It gave me the tools I need to be a successful nurse and provide the best care possible for patients.

“It’s a lengthy, involved process to become accredited,” said Hall. “But it was well worth it because it shows our commitment to excellence when it comes to preparing nurses for their careers.”

RN, BSN Taylor Fox said finding a place to work that had a nurse residency program was a top priority when she graduated and started looking for a job two years ago.

“It was a huge pull for me,” Fox said. “I wasn’t willing to consider a hospital that didn’t have a residency program. I think everyone should have one. Because of what I learned in it, I was able to really hit the ground running with the confidence that I had the support I would need. It gave me the tools I need to be a successful nurse and provide the best care possible for patients.”

Fox said she learned about available resources to nurses, including chaplain services, ethics of providing care, and to watch guest lectures on a variety of important topics, including valuable, detailed information about medications.

Charlotte Williams, Director of Talent Acquisition at JPS, said the Nurse Residency Program is a win-win situation for both the health network and new nurse team members. It’s an attractive feature when nurses consider where to start their career because making the leap from the classroom to the hospital floor can be an intimidating step. Knowing they’ll get the support they need to learn the finer points of their job can make the difference between success and failure.

“It is a 12-month program planned to support graduate nurses’ transition into their first professional nursing role,” Williams explained. “This is a valuable tool for recruiting nurses because it helps increase professional development, job satisfaction, decrease turnover rates and decrease costs for recruitment and retention.”

Fox said, two years after they started at JPS, all 20 members of her cohort are still working at the health network.

“Some of us have switched floors, but we’re all still at the hospital,” Fox said. “We’re a tight-knit group and we stay in touch. We not only have the support of the Nurse Residency Program, but also of each other.”

The Nurse Residency Program is currently in its sixth year. The process of getting accreditation began nearly three years ago. The JPS Nurse Residency Program hosts three cohorts of new graduates accepted each year in February, July, and October.