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Providence Health & Services program helps new and seasoned nurses

Jasmine Magadan, RN

“Gap Kids” and “Tan Pants” were nicknames Jasmine Magadan, BSN, RN, and her fellow new grads became used to hearing at Providence Health & Services in Southern California. Magadan also remembers the freshly minted RNs were referred to as angels for the high-tech help they provided to the seasoned Providence nurses.

Providence hired 50 former nursing students like Magadan in November to work as implementation technicians. Their role was to teach experienced nurses, already working for the health system, how to use Epic electronic health records software. In exchange for their computer skills, the new graduates, who wore white shirts and khakis to distinguish their unique roles, were guaranteed positions at Providence after completing their residencies. While showing the new system to the more experienced RNs, the new grads also received firsthand knowledge of bedside care, better preparing them for their residencies.

“We were called the angels because we would come around when things were getting chaotic and solve things quickly,” said Magadan, who graduated in 2013 from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. “When the nurses were getting stressed out, we would be there to help them.”

Magadan began working in June as a float pool RN for Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center in San Pedro, Calif. and trained nurses at Providence facilities in Torrance and Mission
Hills, Calif.

“I feel like it was an opportunity to get my feet wet in terms of getting into a hospital and seeing how a hospital runs and adapts to change,” she said.

Creator of new residency program

Teresa Halvorson, BSN, RN, MICN, CEN, ED assistant nurse manager, left, and Cesar Luciano Alas, RN, participated in the special Providence Health & Services program for both new RN grads and seasoned RNs.

The program was created by Katherine Bullard, BSN, RN, MS, NEA-BC, regional CNO for Providence Southern California, as her doctoral project. Hiring the new graduates as technicians prevented Providence from having to take staff nurses from their regular duties to assist with the Epic training, Bullard said.

“These [new graduates] are so bright and talented and excited about beginning their careers,” Bullard said. “The energy they put into their work really had a positive impact on the rest of our staff as they tried to learn Epic.”

While searching for entry-level nursing jobs after graduation, Cesar Luciano Alas, BSN, RN, PHN, came across the implementation technician positions at Providence. He was immediately intrigued.

“Providence is a leader in the healthcare field,” said Alas, who now works on the telemetry/oncology unit at Providence Holy Cross Hospital in Mission Hills. “They are the perfect example of how institutions can adjust to the changing times by tapping into the large pool of talented, newly graduated RNs. This is helping to usher in a new era of healthcare aimed at lowering costs while providing high-quality, compassionate care to the public.”

Q&A with creator of new residency program

Katherine Bullard, RN

Bullard shares the history of Providence’s unique nurse residency program.

How did you come up with such an innovative nurse residency program?

Bullard: We began last year preparing to implement a new electronic health records system. You [usually have] to take a whole bunch of staff out of the workforce and train them as super users and you have to backfill the holes with contract labor. We decided we would [instead] hire new graduate nurses. They became experts in the use of the new electronic health records. They got to know our organization, our patient care process and our staff. We came up with the plan to hire them into our nurse residency program. They bring with them all these skills that are not found in your typical
RN resident.

Were there any hiccups or bumps in getting the program up and running?

Bullard: One of the bumps came about two months in when we lost some of our implementation technicians to other organizations that recruited them to fill new grad positions.

What’s it like seeing the program come to fruition?

Bullard: For me as I look at the young talented nurses who recently completed their education, this is an opportunity to help them get into the workforce. It’s just so exciting to see them come to us with their energy and commitment to partner with other nurses to help them be successful.

By | 2020-04-15T09:17:47-04:00 September 12th, 2014|Categories: Regional, West|0 Comments

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