Nursing | Nurse Residency Program

Trinity Health Announces Nurse Residency Program


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It’s been a time-honored tradition when it comes to training physicians. Doctors receive a medical degree, and before going out on their own to practice independently, they complete a residency program under the supervision of an attending physician. Now, nurses at Trinity Health are employing a similar model.

Trinity has implemented a nurse residency program to support graduate nurses as they transition from an educational environment to a fast-paced hospital setting. Chief Nursing Officer Karen Zimmerman says the program is part of Trinity’s commitment to promote nursing excellence and meet the demand for nurses in the region.

“The real world of nursing can be overwhelming,” Zimmerman said. “No matter how well-trained you are you can still feel challenged by all the responsibility and decision-making. We’ve supported nurse graduates in the past with mentoring programs; now, nurse residency will exceed those efforts by supporting new RNs with a comprehensive learning environment that builds critical-thinking skills and gets their career off to a good start.”

In seeking out residency options, Trinity chose the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™, a one-year course accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The only such program in North Dakota, Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency is utilized by over 300 hospitals and health systems nationwide.

Zimmerman says the program emphasizes hands-on experience, a robust curriculum, and a supportive learning environment where participants gain knowledge from each other. “They’ll learn alongside the same cohort of peers throughout the program, so they’ll all benefit from the collaboration and teamwork that emerge over the course of their residency,” she said. “What I especially liked about the program is that it emphasizes evidence-based practices that focus on clinical outcomes, which not only helps participating nurses but also our patients.”

According to Zimmerman, hospitals that have implemented the residency program have seen reductions in nursing turnover and have experienced a positive impact on patient safety and quality of care.

For more information about the program call Danica Schaefer at 701-857-2352.