"The nurse residency program has been beneficial not only to our nursing staff, patients, and families but to our culture. The nurses who participated in the residency program have been excellent spokespeople about how the residency program has enhanced their nursing careers. Specific comments I have heard from participants are related to; critical thinking, teamwork, and patient outcomes. This program provided the nurses in a rural setting the opportunity to expand their knowledge base while gaining confidence and exhibiting pride in their chosen profession."

 —Katie Heldt, Chief Nursing Executive, Greene County Medical Center, Jefferson, IA

 

"The online platform is very easy to use and meets our needs for moving forward for accreditation. We have had great support from our IONRP partners, Nicole and Karla, they are always responsive and willing to help us create the best tool for our needs!"

—Stacey Fort, PDS Manager, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Albuquerque, NM

 

"The Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program taught me how to be a nurse. I learned prioritization in the real world when two doctors are demanding your attention at the same time while an admit is coming at shift change and the patient you were about to discharge starts to have chest pains. I learned how to function in a team and resolve conflict so that we can all focus on caring for our patients. I learned how to communicate important information to providers quickly. I learned there are right and wrong ways to delegate. I learned how changes to policy or procedure occur, and how to initiate and follow-up on them myself.  Within three months of starting the program, I went from being completely overwhelmed by everything I didn’t know, to having confidence in my abilities. I truly believe the residency program saved my sanity this past year.”

—Amanda Huynh, IONRP Graduate, Crawford County Memorial Hospital, Denison, IA

 >>> MORE TESTIMONIALS

Spotlight Series

Tell us a little bit about your facility.
We are a 25 bed critical access hospital in rural northwest Iowa. We do work with area nursing schools with clinical groups and preceptors. One of the nice things about being able to work with nursing schools is being able to employ new graduates

How have you integrated the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program into your facility’s process for transitioning new graduate nurses to practice?  
We have been able to offer the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program to our grads and this has been beneficial for the new graduates as well as for our facility. We have been able to retain these graduates and put some of their residency projects into practice to improve patient outcomes. 

What has been the best part of initiating the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program at your organization?
It has been a good experience and has allowed us to strengthen the communication between managers and new grads and improve our overall on-boarding process. It has brought new grads into being "part of the team". 

How have you seen your nurse residents’ performance improve since beginning the program?
New grads are now eager to cross-train in other departments.

Anything else you’d like to mention?
Thank you for this opportunity!

Submitted by:
Jamie Crum, MSN, RN
Manager of Hospital Education

UPDATE: Presbyterian Healthcare Services received ANCC accreditation for its Transition to Practice and Perioperative programs. 

 

Tell us a little bit about your facility.
We are an integrated health system grown from a small tuberculosis sanatorium founded in 1908. We are now a system of eight hospitals, a multi-specialty medical group with more than 800 physicians and advanced practice clinicians, and a statewide health plan. We serve one in three New Mexicans with healthcare or coverage and have nearly 12,000 employees. The Residency Program began in 2015 with the Peri-Operative specialty program and has expanded to the Emergency Department, Critical Care, and the rapidly growing Transition to Practice new graduate program. This year began our journey for ANCC accreditation for our Transition and Peri-Operative Programs!

How have you integrated the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program into your facility’s process for transitioning new graduate nurses to practice?  
We have integrated the Iowa online nurse residency into our curriculum as foundational content for the professional development topics. We have built upon the content to ensure the success of our residents by including organizational-specific onboarding, subject matter experts as guest speakers, and reinforcement skills and simulation labs.

What has been the best part of initiating the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program at your organization?
The online platform is very easy to use and meets our needs for moving forward for accreditation. We have had great support from our Iowa partners, Nicole and Karla, they are always responsive and willing to help us create the best tool for our needs!

How have you seen your nurse residents’ performance improve since beginning the program?
We definitely see that our residency program better prepares our young nurses for real life on the floors, and helps to mitigate the heightened stress that is associated with this transition. The most notable data shows a much earlier progression to clinical practice leads and the role of preceptor and charge nurses!

Anything else you’d like to mention?
Thank you for your partnership, IONRP! We are planning to expand our residency program into Behavioral Health, Women’s, and Pediatrics next year! Our vision is that all new graduate nurses will get the opportunity to experience a residency program!

Submitted by:
Stacey Fort, BSN, RN
PDS Manager, Clinical Education Residency & Fellowship Programs

Tell us a little bit about your facility.
Regional Health is an integrated healthcare system serving Western South Dakota with the purpose of helping patients and communities thrive. The organization, with headquarters in Rapid City, SD, provides community-based health care in more than 20 communities in two states and 32 specialty areas of medicine. As the largest private employer in the area, Regional Health comprises five hospitals, 24 clinic locations, and employs nearly 5,000 physicians and caregivers. As 'Onboarding Nurse Educator' for the health system, I serve as site coordinator for the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program (IONRP).

How have you integrated the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program into your facility’s process for transitioning new graduate nurses to practice?
We began integrating the IONRP in March 2017 as an organization-wide initiative to promote growth, development, and retention of our new graduate registered nurses. Our first meeting takes place in a computer lab to: ensure appropriate enrollment and registration; watch the intro video together; explain the organization’s expectations and the program itself; allow for work-time on the first Casey-Fink survey and two modules. From then on, email communication to nurse residents and department leadership is standardized at regular intervals for reminders about scheduling, surveys to complete, expectations, and follow-up/rounding on the floors.

What has been the best part of initiating the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program at your organization?
The best part has been to see the growth in confidence of those who have successfully completed the program. They have truly progressed faster than their peers, and have become more competent and confident in practicing both the art and science of nursing. From a personal development perspective, it has been quite rewarding to start this program from the ground up - from investigating our nurse residency options, going through the selection process, planning, and implementation.

How have you seen your nurse residents’ performance improve since beginning the program?
The networking between floors and departments has been reassuring. The nurse residents encounter some of the same highs and lows no matter where they work. Without having to prompt them, it is great to see them help to solve each other’s problems. As mentioned before, they are becoming professional nurses quicker and I think they surprise themselves at their accomplishments by project time. Our #1 objective aligned with the IONRP was to move the RN from novice to competent faster, while maintaining safety and quality care. We are seeing that out of those who finish.

Anything else you’d like to mention?
We are, in all, very happy with our decision to partner with the IONRP. It has proven to be a worthwhile endeavor. Nicole and Karla are responsive to ongoing needs, feedback, and collaboration. Thank you for your support and expertise!

Submitted by:
Holly Perli, BSN, RN, BSEd
Onboarding Nurse Educator

St. Luke's Medical Center, an affiliate of UnityPoint Health, delivers care to communities in the tristate area including Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota and is located in Sioux City, Iowa. There are nearly 10,000 admissions every year, 30,000 ER visits, and 90,000 outpatient visits. We provide a full range of services and programs.

We have used the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program for over three years. We did not have a program developed and had been discussing the need to pursue a nurse residency program. We were delighted to learn of this innovative, interactive, e-learning program. It was a great fit for the number of resources we had available as well as being innovative and cost-effective.

The overall most impressive outcome of using this program is the amount and quality of practice-change projects that have resulted from the work of the residents. We have implemented over 30 different projects, both evidence-based and quality. No matter if the projects are unit-based changes or house-wide, our residents put all the competencies at work and really show the new graduate that they can make a difference. Retention rates for graduates are at 92% for nurses starting greater than two years, and for the first cohort three years ago, 100% are still employed here.

The result of the evaluation tools provided is a great perk of this program. We actually receive data showing our nurses have improved in communication, confidence, patient-centered care, positive safety indices, and reduction in stress. A recent survey of the 36 graduates of over two years graduated from program revealed that all of them have taken on bedside leadership roles such as mentors, preceptors, or charge nurse. Over 50% have participated in practice change beyond the one required. 77% have become members of a unit or a hospital committee. It is really great to receive feedback from the evaluation tools the program uses so that we can showcase to senior leadership the return on investment.

Submitted by:
Lori Forneris, MS, RN
Clinical Practice Expert

Tell us a little bit about your facility.
Bonner General Health (BGH) is an independent, private, not-for-profit critical access hospital located in beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho - home of Lake Pend Oreille and Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort. Bonner General Health was recently designated a Level IV Trauma Center, has award-winning "tele stroke" services and obstetrical department, and many other exceptional services that are uncommon in rural areas. BGH is very committed to the community it serves.

How have you integrated the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program into your facility’s process for transitioning new graduate nurses to practice?
BGH had very few opportunities to hire new graduate nurses in the past and really no special transition program in place prior to the BGH Nurse Residency Program. Our nursing staff is aging, just like the national trend, and we are facing the retirement of many of our nurses. Our Nurse Residency Program was started in March of 2016, with the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program as a cornerstone to our physical program. BGH wanted an evidence-based and supportive program to help transition new nurses into our facility and help them achieve long-term success here.

What has been the best part of initiating the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program at your organization?
BGH is attracting new graduate nurses from all over the country to our rural area to participate in our Nurse Residency Program, including enrollment in the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Modules. The best part is our ability to recruit and retain top new nursing talent. We are beginning to "graduate" our first class of residents and they are very successful and well-adjusted.

How have you seen your nurse residents’ performance improve since beginning the program?
Access to other nurse residents from around the country, having similar struggles and experiences, has really boosted the confidence of our nurse residents. We had great performance from our residents from the beginning, but the development of confidence in the nurse residents over the first year is noteworthy.

Submitted by:
Misty Robertson, BSN, RN, MSA
Chief Nursing Officer

Montgomery County Memorial Hospital (MCMH) is a critical access hospital located in Red Oak, Iowa. We are in the heartland of Southwest Iowa. This facility is growing by leaps and bounds with the expansion of services, which has resulted in space challenges within our walls. Some of the recent additions include; Tele-Psych for our Emergency Department patients, 3-D mammography and the creation of a Population Health program within the community wellness department. The education needs of our staff are ongoing and will continue for a long time to come. It is definitely exciting to see how all of the changes are coming together to make our facility an outstanding "one-of-a-kind" for the delivery of excellent healthcare for the communities we serve here in Southwest Iowa. We take great pride in our customer service, not only with our customers, but also with each other as employees. We are a team here at MCMH, and they are my second family. I am very proud and honored to be a part of MCMH.

We have been a part of the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program (IONRP) since its inception in 2014. We believe in this program 100%, and have all of our new graduate nurses participate in the program. They usually start the program at some point within the first year of hire. I have found it beneficial for a new nurse to become acquainted with the facility and their job duties before starting the application process for the residency program. On more than one occasion, I have heard a new nurse who didn’t really think she needed the program, state that she learned a lot through the year-long process. The online discussions also show our nurses that they are not alone in what they are feeling and experiencing.

I feel that enrolling these nurses in the IONRP helps them to be the best nurse that they can be. I have watched them become more confident, independent, and responsible nurses. It is a very worthwhile program, and I am very glad we are a part of this innovative type of transitional program for the graduate nurse.

Submitted by:
Ruth Aughe, RN
Clinical Education Manager
Montgomery County Memorial Hospital

Tell us a little bit about your facility.
Greene County Medical Center is a community-based critical access hospital located in Jefferson, Iowa. As a rural affiliate of UnityPoint Health, Greene County Medical Center offers inpatient care, skilled care, long-term care, and many outpatient services.  The medical center hosts ten specialty clinics every month and employs a women’s health provider, podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon. The medical center has been serving Greene County and the surrounding communities since 1937.

How have you integrated the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program into your facilities process for transitioning new graduate nurses to practice?
Greene County Medical Center began participating in the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program in September 2015.  We were unsure of which option would work best in our facility, so the decision was made to enroll six participants in the blended program and four participants in the online program. By doing this with our initial group of participants, we were able to compare the options and obtain feedback from the participants on which is the better option. Our first group of residents are completing this program in September 2016. Moving forward, we will continue to enroll new graduates in the online program as it seems to provide the best work life balance for all.

What has been best part of initiating the Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program at your organization?
The best part of initiating the Iowa Nurse Residency Program in our organization is to see the professional growth and development in our nurses!

How have you seen your nurse residents' performance improve since beginning the program?
The nurse residents in our facility have grown immensely in their communication skills, professionalism, and patient advocacy. They are now much more aware of evidence-based practice, quality indicators, and performance improvement projects. They are able to see the big picture that they can change patient outcomes at the bedside. They have taken personal accountability to be change agents within our facility to improve the care delivered to our patients.

Submitted by:
Ann Erickson, RN
Acute Care Director
Greene County Medical Center