By Vicki Moran, PhD, MSN/MPH, CNE, RN, APHN-BC, CDE
Recently, I was in a meeting with a nursing administrator who was asking how schools of nursing are preparing student nurses for their transition to practice. For most nurse educators, this can be a very loaded question. I answered by validating the courses taught in nursing school, but left the discussion wondering why this question was asked. Then it dawned on me! The administrator was attempting to develop a program that would assist in transitioning newly licensed nurses into the practice of nursing.
It has been postulated that 90% of nursing faculty believe that nursing students are prepared for practice, while only 10% of hospital and health care systems leaders agree (Berkow, Virkstis, Stewart, & Conway, 2008). In 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended that nurse residency programs (NRPs) be developed as a way to reduce attrition rates and assist the demand of registered nurses (RNs).
Evidence supporting nurse residency programs
A recent executive summary by the American Academy of Nursing on policy provided evidence supporting a nurse residency program (NRP) for newly licensed registered nurses as part of an employment contract (Goode, Glassman, Ponte, Krugman, & Peterman, 2018). The authors state that hospitals are eligible for reimbursement from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), similar to other residency programs for pharmacy, medicine, and chaplain programs (Goode et al., 2018). The summary supports policy recommendations focusing on the NRP accreditation to assure standardization of education, clinical standards, and accurate evaluation metrics (Good et al., 2018).