For years now, there has been a debate about the pros and cons of nurse residency programs. Many healthcare organizations support the need for these programs, but they are also concerned about the high costs and the long-term commitment involved.
Since many healthcare organizations are already struggling with staffing shortages, putting new nurses through a residency program can be a daunting task. However, in these cases, the need for nurses outweighs any concerns about burnout or turnover.
Many nurses are eager to leave the classroom and start their careers immediately after graduating from nursing school. However, doing so leaves them without the necessary skills and training to succeed in their new roles.
What Are Nurse Residency Programs?
Through a nurse residency program, new nurses can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to provide high-quality care to their communities. It can also help combat the spread of lateral violence by establishing strong connections between the nurses and their healthcare organizations.
Usually, nurse residency programs are focused on providing nurses with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective and efficient care. They can also help them become comfortable with the various policies and procedures in their department. Unlike traditional nurse residency programs, which are typically built on a pre-defined curriculum, hospital-based programs can be customized so that they meet their staff’s requirements. These programs typically last for 6 to 12 months.
Benefits of Nurse Residency Program
Besides being beneficial to the nurses who participate in them, hospital-based programs also benefit the healthcare organizations that provide them. While nursing schools try to replicate the skills and knowledge that students gain in the classroom, healthcare professionals know that these programs are not designed to replace the real thing.
1. Decrease in Burnout
Over the years, many healthcare organizations have been struggling with the issue of burnout among their staff. According to a report by the National Academy of Medicine, around 35% to 54% of healthcare workers in the United States experience symptoms of burnout. These include depression and anxiety, as well as reduced personal accomplishment.
2. Reduction in Turnover
One of the most common factors that healthcare organizations face when it comes to employee turnover is the issue of first-year nurses. This group typically begins their clinical work without the necessary skills and support to succeed. This turnover rate can result in high financial costs for the organization.
3. Better Patient Care
Being able to provide high-quality care to patients is one of the most important factors that healthcare organizations should consider when it comes to addressing employee turnover. Having the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their duties can help improve the quality of care that their patients receive.
Disadvantages of Nurse Residency Programs
Besides being beneficial to the nurses who participate in them, hospital-based programs also have disadvantages. These include the lack of necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective and efficient care.
1. Upfront Costs for the Hospital
Getting the necessary resources to establish a robust nursing doctor residency program can be a daunting task. Despite the hospital administrators’ best efforts, the cost of establishing this type of program can still be a significant financial burden.
2. Program Maintenance
The healthcare industry is continuously changing, which can make it difficult for healthcare organizations to maintain a robust nurse residency program. This is why they must be able to provide the necessary resources to support and maintain this type of program.
3. Contractual Commitments
Most hospitals require new nurses to sign a contract that commits them to work for the organization for a certain number of years. This type of contract makes it hard for nurses to leave if the company they work for doesn’t provide them with a good fit. Before they can sign a contract, new nurses should thoroughly research their potential employers.
4. Variations in Nurse Pay
Although nurse residency programs are generally considered a valuable benefit, they can also result in a lower salary. Most nurses will eventually receive a pay increase once they have completed their residency and attained new skills and credentials.
As the number of nurses approaching retirement and the rising turnover rates continues to increase, it is more important than ever that hospitals establish a robust nurse residency program. This type of program can help them retain and attract the best talent.