Seeing is Believing

Premier Nursing News

Trepanier HSBy Sylvain “Syl” Trepanier, DNP, RN, CENP, vice president & system chief nursing officer

Just a little over one year ago, we introduced a residency program for new graduate registered nurses (NGRN) at Premier Health. Like anything new, some were excited, others scared, others skeptical. Last month we offered a recognition ceremony to our first graduating class. I was excited to see how the residency supported the NGRNs. Many of them have already taken on team leader roles, a supportive role to NGRNs who are now entering the immersion period of the residency, etc. In other words, I saw an evidence-based program in action right before my eyes.

As a reminder, the Versant LLC residency program is offered to all NGRNs hired within Premier Health for all specialties. Thus far we have enrolled close to 300 NGRNs. In a previous PNN edition, Wackler (2015) wrote: “The Versant program uses standardized competencies, a focus on the preceptor role and its development, and a customized learning plan to support the development of the nurse graduate.” At the conclusion of the residency, or immersion period (estimated to be 18 weeks), Versant’s data has shown that the nurse resident has the skill and confidence level of a nurse who has been practicing for 17 months, with a traditional orientation and onboarding experience. The individualized learning plan is one of the major strengths of this program. Like any new program, we learned along the way and have already offered multiples changes to make this an even better experience for the future NGRNs entering the residency program.

Another strength of the program is the yearly support offered by coaches (mentors and debriefers). The coaches have an opportunity to support NGRN’s during their transition into practice. It is also likely that the coaches are getting much satisfaction from their role, as they see the positive impact in the lives of colleagues. In other words, it’s a win-win situation (for the NGRNs and the coaches). In addition, this win-win situation can turn into a win-win-win situation where the support offered as a coach can count towards a PEN application.

I am convinced that most nurses remember how they were introduced into the profession. Unfortunately, not everyone can say that their own transition into practice was a great experience. Offering a residency program is a step toward standardizing the experience by leveraging the evidence available to us. The benefits of offering a residency for NGRNs are plentiful:

  • Increase NGRN engagement
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Increase retention of NGRNs
  • Increase competency of NGRNs
  • Significant cost-benefits
  • Increase confidence in NGRNs
  • Increase competency of NGRNs
  • Increase NGRNs’ sense of support from their employers

As you can see, there are many reasons why we embrace this evidence-based practice at Premier Health. As I attended the celebration last week, I saw the benefits. I believe in the residency program for NGRNs. Seeing is believing!

<<Back to Premier Nursing News-August 2016

Premier Health Logo