Retaining the next generation of nurses: the Wisconsin nurse residency program provides a continuum of support.


Because of the high costs associated with new graduate nurse turnover, an academic-service partnership developed a nurse residency program that provides a comprehensive support system that spans 15 months. Now in its fourth year, involving more than 50 urban and rural hospitals of varying sizes and geographic locations, the program provides formalized preceptor training, monthly daylong educational sessions, and mentoring by clinical coaches. Key factors contributing to the success of this program are a dedicated, cohesive planning team of individuals who embrace a common agenda, stakeholder buy-in, appropriate allocation of resources, and clear articulation of measures of success, with associated data collection. Successful elements of the monthly educational sessions are the use of interactive teaching methods, inclusion of content tailored to the unique needs of the nurse residents, and storytelling to facilitate learning from practice. Finally, training to advance the skill development of preceptors, coaches, educators, and facilitators has provided organizations with enduring benefits.


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