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Spotlight Series - UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital

UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital, Sioux City, Iowa

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