A statewide Maryland residency program is helping first-year nurses like Kristin Scilipoti gain confidence while learning to provide high-quality healthcare to patients.
The yearlong Maryland Nurse Residency Collaborative “makes me feel more comfortable as a new RN,” said Scilipoti, BS, RN, CHES, AE-C, who works in the NICU at Medstar Franklin Square Medical Center in Baltimore. “It helps me to self reflect, [and] helps me realize where I started, how I’ve improved, what I can continue to work on, and what my accomplishments have been,” said Scilipoti, one of 1,200 program participants.
Maryland is the second state in the country to create the residency, a collaboration between the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives and the University HealthSystem Consortium/American Association of Colleges of Nursing. In its second year, the residency was launched in response to the Institute of Medicine Report on the Future of Nursing. Nurse graduates at 19 hospitals statewide learn to transition into their professional roles. Nurses also develop and participate in an evidence-based clinical project to improve their problem-solving skills.
The evidence-based projects are a key element of the program, according to Mary Ann Greene, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, and coordinator of the MONE Nurse Graduate Residency Collaborative.
“They find something on the unit or in their setting that they want to work on,” Greene said. “It’s really a game-changer to have nurses thinking ‘how do I make things better?’”
Educational sessions are based on the standardized UHC/AACN curriculum and include topics such as the legal importance of documentation and how to properly document.
“We’ve also discussed the importance of bedside reporting, how to efficiently delegate, how to manage conflict in the workplace, as well as time management and prioritization,” Scilipoti said. “We even had a simulation day where we acted out scenarios on needing to delegate tasks, dealing with difficult family members, and recognizing a change in a patient’s status. Learning about these topics helps to prepare me for real situations that I might encounter as a nurse on the floor.”
The program benefits new nurses by nurturing them and supporting them as they transition into a professional role, said Vicki L. Krohn, MSN, RN, NE-BC, professional development coordinator at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center.
“We have certain professional behavior we want them to adopt,” Krohn said. “[The residency] helps to engage them in their own practice. I think it socializes them into the hospital setting and it gives them a more global perspective of how the hospital operates and functions. We have monthly meetings where they sit with each other and the facilitators and they talk about their challenges from the previous month. This helps them to work on their self-confidence and how to process what they are experiencing.”
Organizers are still gathering metrics but say initial results have been positive. “Surprisingly in the first year we had a 94% retention of first-year nurses and that’s really very good,” Greene said. •
Robin Farmer is a freelance writer.