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What does a “good” nurse residency program look like?

May 10, 2022 | 3 min read

By Healthcare Professionals

You want to elevate new grad nurse competence, confidence, and engagement, but it’s often difficult to gauge the ongoing effectiveness of your program.

The healthcare landscape has never been more complex, and your new grad nurses are entering a unique and demanding environment, with a broadening array of patient needs and larger patient-to-nurse ratios1.

The fundamental question is: how do you know what “good” looks like ? The question is even more difficult in an era where your nurses are contending with a wide variety of challenges, including limited clinical experience, an evolving healthcare landscape, and continued stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What your new grad nurses are facing

The transition from nursing school to clinical practice is a critical time for new graduate nurses. The support they receive from their new hospital can make or break their experience.

Even with adequate orientation programs and guidance, this transition can be overwhelming, which can lead to:

  • Nurse burnout: By 2025, 1 million registered nurses will leave or retire from the workforce.

  • A lack of confidence: 63% of new graduate nurses report not being ready for practice2.

  • New nurse turnover: Many hospitals experience an annual loss of $4.4M to $7M from the costs associated with new nurse onboarding and turnover3.

Quality care and safety are your top priorities, but these challenges and negatively impact your patients’ experience. In fact, 50% of new nurses report missing signs of life-threatening conditions2.

Building a foundation for new grad nurse success

What does a successful, efficient nurse residency or onboarding program look like? This is precisely the question taken up by WVU Medicine, West Virginia’s largest health system and biggest private employer. In an era marked by growing nurse recruitment and retention challenges, WVU Medicine sought to improve novice nurse confidence and engagement at the point where these professionals are most vulnerable: transition to practice.

WVU Medicine chose Elsevier’s Transition to Practice for its expert evidence-based curriculum that aligns with the American Nurse Association (ANA) Professional Performance Standards, along with its ability to provide actionable insights into learner’s competence and confidence.

With Elsevier’s Transition to Practice, you can support your new nurses with a revolutionary platform that’s designed to boost new graduate nurses’ confidence, readiness, and satisfaction by accelerating professional performance skill abilities through immersive, real-life virtual situations and identify struggling nurses early through engagement and support tools.

Feature highlights include:

  • Flexible modular and on-demand access to curriculum

  • Immersive virtual learning environment with engaging learning modalities

  • Tools to help new grad nurses break down communication barriers and communicate more effectively with their support team

Since implementing Elsevier’s Transition to Practice, WVU Medicine has increased its residency program retention rate from 77% to 84% and 88% for the first two cohorts.4

Learn more about Elsevier’s Transition to Practice and how it can help your institution



Healthcare Professionals

1 Hospital Compare datasets, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in new tab/window)

2 V. Kaur et al., Budding nurses readiness for clinical practice: the future is now, International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 8(1) (2020) 215-220. in new tab/window)

3 Jennifer Thew, RN, Want to Keep Nurses at the Bedside? Here’s How, J HealthLeaders, March 27, 2019. in new tab/window)

4 K. Hill, Improving Quality and Patient Safety by Retaining Nursing Expertise, OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 15(3). in new tab/window)

5 The retention improvement results are based off one specific customer site and cannot be guaranteed. Other variables not measured.