Kicking off the news this week is a look at the value of nurse residency programs for getting new nurses, fresh out of school, started off right. The article over at Nurse.com looks at this, the third recommendation of the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Future of Nursing report, that states nurse residency programs are vital to the future of nursing moving forward.
Still Not Enough Nurse Residency Programs
The challenge is that I don’t see a lot of nurse residency programs out there, or at least not any that offer anything but a token number of positions to new graduates in key areas like critical or emergency care. According to the article, there has been some improvement. By 2013, 41% of hospitals started offering some kind of nursing residency program.
The thing that seems to be holding these programs back is the lack of funding and figuring out who should be paying for them. Basically, the argument is whether nursing schools, hospitals or the new nurses themselves should be paying for the programs. I think the hospitals should pick up the tab since having a better trained and supported nursing staff improves overall patient care.
The hospitals think that the nursing schools or the nurses themselves should be paying since the nurse residency is essentially still a part of the educational process. There are grants out there to encourage hospitals to implement nursing residency programs but only six of the 31 available grant are being used at the time of this article.
These grants come from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which worked closely to write the original future of nursing report to begin with. Proponents of nurse residency programs urge hospitals to get on board and start them. Residency programs shorten training time for new nurses hired by the hospital and have been shown to improve overall patient care. These both save the hospitals money in the long run.
Does your facility have a nurse residency program? I love to hear from you about how it is working out and what advantages it is seen to offer. Shoot me an email with your comments about nurse residencies or leave a comment in the show notes for this episode over at NursingShow.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Preventing Nurse Workplace Injury and Episode 340.