Resident Spotlights

Madison Wallace

"Thank you to my network of support at ChildServe; it is an honor to work with such a great team to care for some of the world's most vulnerable populations with you all. I began working in the Pediatric Long-Term Care unit as a nurse when I got my RN license last July, and I couldn't be happier to experience this kind of growth within such a worthy organization. My experience in the IONRP has helped me learn about myself and given me the confidence to survive my first year of nursing, take on new challenges, and jumpstart my career. It has been a great experience to be part of the IONRP!"

Lexus Barnard

"Thank you so much for this nomination; it is truly an honor. When I began this project, it grew into so much more for me than just a project. It became my mission to help patients and their loved ones through the grieving process. I need to begin to look into avenues to publish my project, as I know it can be added to so many facilities and truly make an impact!"

Lexus’s Site-Coordinator, Michelle Helin:

“Lexus completed an outstanding change project for her ProfX experience. She identified a gap in bereavement support for med/surg and ICU patients and families that receive devastating news or are dying. Her Bereavement Support project included ways to alert clinical and support staff of the presence of grieving, provide mementos and comfort items to the family, and provide scripting resources to staff. Not only did she design a comprehensive program, but she did so under a deadline imposed upon her by a previously-awarded grant deadline. She has since transferred to another department and worked hard to ensure staff had the tools to re-order supplies to sustain the program. The result of her project is a top-notch program worthy of publishing. Congratulations, Lexus!”

Jill Imhoff

"I started the IONRP program in September of 2021, and with the support of my colleagues, family, friends, and the IONRP program, I made it through one of the most challenging years of my life as I transitioned from student nurse to an independent and confident ER nurse. When I graduated, my goal was to find an organization that would foster and support my desire to grow and learn in my profession. I was fortunate to find that home with Upland Hills Health. I absolutely believe that the staff I've been able to learn from and work with played a pivotal role in my success, and I'm truly grateful. The ever-changing face of healthcare demands resiliency and support for success, so having an employer who values and recognizes the need for programs to help their employees is essential. I also want to send my appreciation to Michelle Helin for her support. Thank you!"

Site-Coordinator Michelle Helin:

“Jill Imhoff completed the IONRP in September 2022, working diligently to accomplish this while orienting to a busy Emergency department and completing the rigorous training and certification requirements for this specialty unit. Jill was also experiencing a very busy home life during this time. However, what most impressed me about Jill was her problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the care described in her Case Study ProfX experience. This case of an uncommon condition presented early in Jill's time in the ED. She managed the patient's care and communicated with the physician and the rest of the team, with skills I consider advanced for her nursing experience. I was so proud to hear her tell this story as I listened to her presentation. We are fortunate to have nurses like Jill caring for our patients. Well done, Jill!”

Alison Kramar

How has the nurse residency program impacted you as a new nurse?

The program gave me skills to communicate with doctors and peers and helped me learn how to bounce back from setbacks. I also learned how to present my best self to my patients, which includes making sure I am taking care of myself. Overall, the program gave me a great foundation for starting my career. It truly helped me not feel like I was alone in my journey and prevented me from stepping into a mindset where I felt like I wasn't cut out to be a nurse.

What was your favorite part of the program?

My favorite part was simply having an instructor who has been on the floor, knows how it is to be a new nurse and is willing to honestly share her mistakes and how she managed during difficult times. Having someone who you know is on your side that you can openly communicate with about your struggles is huge.

Why would you recommend our program to other new nurses?

Absolutely! You learn ways to manage patient load, how best to communicate with doctors and peers and how to become resilient in a career with many ups and downs. The program also provides a safe haven where you can speak your thoughts and fears to someone who understands how you feel without being someone at your place of work.

Jamila Makokha

How has the nurse residency program impacted you as a new nurse?
As a new nurse no one prepares you for the challenges you encounter in the field, most often people try to focus on NCLEX and forget that anxiety, nervousness, and excitement of the new role awaits you. There were times I felt like I chose the wrong career or I'm just too incompetent for my skills and I didn't know why I did so well at school. The unexpected events made me question my skills as a new nurse but when I went through the resident program, I realized that I was not alone. I realized that every graduate is having that moment where they felt uncomfortable in the same way. Nursing school gives you all the hints you need to look for your patient, it’s like a pre-made meal and all you need to do is bake/spice and serve. It makes it look so easy for you. Bedside nursing is completely different, it requires more critical thinking skills, assessment, and quick decision-making. As a new nurse your mental status is not prepared for quick changes. I learned to solidify these skills through the resident program. In most nursing schools, assessment class is done around the 2nd or 3rd semester, so by the time you graduate you don't really remember all the things. The program was like doing the class again, only this time it is hands on. You see what is being taught, not imaginary patients. You ask for your own labs, vitals, you must learn to trust your intuition hoping that you are considering the total context of the situation. These are very hard for a new nurse

What was your favorite part of the program?
There were many favorite parts for me. I enjoyed every moment of it, especially monthly meetings with the program Manager, Nicole Weathers. Going through the discussions was very fulfilling. Listening to my teammates talk about how they are adapting to their facilities, mistakes they've experienced, aha moments and so forth. If I had to pick one, I really enjoyed learning about Building Resiliency with Dr. Patrick Jeffs. I was surprised by how little things we do, without knowing, can change your daily outcome. Since the class I have greatly improved on resilience with myself and those around me. I have learned to make the best out of everything around me and I give the best I can to those I serve.

Why would you recommend our program to other new nurses?
I recommend this program to not only new nurses, but even those that have been in the field for a long time. The nursing field is an everchanging career. Every day you are learning something new. It can be quite challenging and often people forget that mistakes can happen to anyone, no matter how long you have been in the field. Having a shoulder to lean on in such moments is great. We are all human beings, and we all experience stress whether it’s a patient not doing so well or doctors not acknowledging your concerns. This program is a refresher on your skills and keeps you motivated, but it is also a place to vent, exchange ideas with other nurses that might be experiencing the same problems somewhere else and connects you with other healthcare members in your area that you might not have known. Discussion board was great for new ideas and boosting people’s confidence and morale’s. Every nurse can benefit from it. I used to be shy and not really up for trying new things, because I felt like no one will really hear me or it doesn't matter anyway, someone else will do it. I would see things that I felt could have been done differently but ignore it and wait for someone else to fix it. Since I had no choice but to do a project as part of the program, I realized how wrong I was for assuming things because it made a huge change in my facility. Something I thought was small had a big impact and got so much attention.

Through this program I have learned to speak up, take chances with new roles, learned prioritizing my patients, developed strong critical thinking skills and I no longer fear to voice my concerns when in doubt and I have been more mindful.

Cassandra Frederick

How has the nurse residency program impacted you as a new nurse?

This program has impacted me dramatically as a nurse. I was able to learn things that were not taught in nursing school. The big area that stands out to me was learning how to get through stressful situations, like talking to doctors.

What was your favorite part of the program?

I would have to say my favorite part of the program would be the big project that you are able to work on for more than half the year. (Read more about Cassy’s project here)

Why would you recommend our program to other new nurses?

For new nurses, this is a game-changer. You meet lifelong friends that you can turn to for opinions and support. Nicole the instructor is amazing at what she does, and you can really tell that she loves the work that she does! The information you can learn and retain are topics that are not typically covered in nursing school. The curriculum fits into a busy schedule.