Nurse Residency Program
Aspirus Wausau Hospital is one of many sites throughout the state to implement the Wisconsin Nurse Residency Program.
It is an innovative collaboration between academia and health care organizations creating solutions to retain nurses.
Main components of the program include:
Monthly learning sessions
Various clinical and non-clinical topics are discussed and explored. Another main goal of the monthly learning sessions is to provide support to the participants, helping them to see that others are having some "new nurse" struggles as well. This is one aspect of the program new nurses have found to be particularly valuable.
Aspirus Wausau Hospital has a number of trained coaches who meet periodically with new nurses. Each new nurse chooses one of these coaches, who is somebody they can talk to about clinical issues, professional development issues (involvement in professional organizations, portfolio development, etc.), interpersonal issues, and whatever other kinds of issues or concerns they may have.
Coaches attend a 2.5-hour training session that introduces them to the concept of coaching and to the basic components of the residency program.
Professional development plan
Each nurse is asked to write several goals they would like to accomplish in the next year, along with a brief plan of how these goals will be accomplished. This plan is used in the employee's performance appraisals.
Preceptor training and development
Last year we offered several two-day training sessions for our nurse preceptors. This training is very interactive, and allows the preceptors to role play and discuss different experiences.
Right now we are in the process of turning the more didactic part of the training and making it into computer learning modules. The remaining four to six hours would continue to be face-to-face learning. The computer learning modules should be ready by late fall or early winter of 2009.