Western Md. Health System launches nurse residency program

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Western Maryland Health System has added the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program to help new nurses as they begin their careers.

The announcement was made recently by James Karstetter, vice president and chief nursing officer.

“As many experienced nurses are leaving the workforce due to retirement, it is very important to give our new nurses a solid foundation to begin their nursing career. The year-long nurse residency program will provide knowledge and skills to deliver safe, quality patient care,” Karstetter said in the release.

The yearlong program brings new nurses back into the classroom once a month for simulations, case studies and debriefings, according to a news release from WMHS.

“It’s been an interdisciplinary effort to launch the program,” Teresa Grebeldinger, coordinator of the program, said in the release.

Additional components of the program include mentoring and networking, fostering supportive relationships with fellow new nurses, promoting lifelong learning and developing a professional portfolio.

Seventeen nurses are enrolled in the first cohort.

“We want to retain our new nurse graduates,” Grebeldinger said in the release.

Beyond that, Grebeldinger said the program strives to make integration into the nurses’ units happen smoothly.

“We get to see them come back every month and see how well they are doing,” she said.

The monthly sessions will cover trending topics in the industry and feature experts with cutting-edge information.

“The Nurse Residency Program is an exciting opportunity for the new nurse graduates. It will provide the necessary support to help structure their transition into a nursing career using evidence-based learning and collaboration,”Kayla Ellis, WMHS Nurse Recruiter, said in the release.

The classes are held for four hours once a month. In addition to classes, the program provides an opportunity for the nurse residents to participate with their peers on an evidence-based project that will be presented to the hospital for consideration to be implemented system wide.

“Working on an EBP project within the first 12 months of hire allows nurse residents to integrate evidence into their practice while having a positive impact early in their career,” said Jeannie Seifarth, professional development coordinator and chair of the Evidence-Based Practice Council.