The best place to start your career: How the Providence RN Residency program supports new nurses
October 10, 2022
Starting out as a new nurse can be intimidating, as you leave school behind and step onto the hospital floor. Providence’s RN Residency program is an unparalleled experience for new nurses, serving as a launching pad for a successful career. Almost 13,000 nurses have participated in our program since 2016. With 31 specialties and 23 accredited sites, the Providence Residency program surrounds new nurses with a robust support structure led by an experienced team with a passion for teaching and lifting up the next generation. Following is a look at how new nurses are mentored and guided early in their careers at Providence so that they can gain the confidence and skills they need to deliver excellent patient care.
One critical element of the Providence RN Residency program is individualized learning for every new graduate RN. Nurse managers are invested in each resident’s success. “The nurse managers and the assistant nurse managers are very involved with the residents,” says Nurse Senior Director Dawn Gilbert. “We meet with them routinely to check in and see how they’re doing. Especially since COVID, everyone has had different kinds of nursing school experiences, so they come from different environments and have had a variety of clinical and non-clinical experiences. We tailor what we’re doing to make sure they get all the support that they need for their individual learning needs. The goal is to help them succeed and feel confident when they’re ready to take patient care on their own.”
Providence lives its promise, “Know me, care for me, ease my way,” by easing the way of new grad RNs through the Residency program. “I really hope that residents feel like this is their home. This is the place that they’re going to grow as a nurse, become part of our family, care for our patients in our community and really become a part of this community,” says Dawn. “And I want them to know also that their leadership, we’re here for them. We’re here to help them succeed.”
Navigating challenges with a mentor’s help
Mentors act as a sounding board for larger issues, providing an experienced perspective as residents think about the path they want their career to take and as they navigate any challenges they face as they grow in their nursing role. “For a year, Providence pays one hour a month for a new nurse to meet with his or her mentor outside of work,” says Nurse Educator LaDawn White. “I tell my students, you can go to shopping, get coffee together, go on a hike, and connect.”
Managing stressful situations in a judgement-free zone
Staff Nurse Megan Smith, a recent nurse resident, says this combination of supportive roles has been critical to her success. She says “What’s really helped me become an even better nurse here at Providence has been that hand holding through your assistant nurse manager, your manager, your educator, your preceptor, your mentor. There are so many people who are helping you succeed and making sure that you have all the tools you need to be the best nurse, and that’s been just incredible.”
One of the useful parts of the Residency program is the Simulation Lab, where common scenarios that nurses will face are practiced in an area set up just like a patient room. Megan explains, “The simulation is so great because it’s a judgment-free zone, so you’re allowed to make mistakes because that’s how you learn, and it’s better to make a mistake in the simulation lab, of course, than on the floor. Simulations give you an opportunity to learn not only how best to manage these stressful situations, but also what tools are at your disposal, and how to utilize them.”
“We’re always taking it back to the patient. What I really appreciate about Providence is in the end, we go back to the patient, because that’s why we’re all here…we make sure that we can provide the best care for our patients in the community, while taking really good care of our caregivers at the same time.”
Learn more about building your nursing foundation for success at our family of organizations. View current RN residency opportunities and apply today.