Nurse Residency Program Helps Successfully Transition New Nurses in Pandemic

By | 2022-06-23T10:36:21-04:00 July 7th, 2021|0 Comments

Content courtesy of the American Nurses Association.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare organizations faced the challenge of transitioning nurses from the academic setting to clinical practice, as well as transitioning other nurses from their traditional roles to critical care.

Nurses’ learning needs rapidly changed due to COVID-19, and nurse leaders had to adapt quickly. Having a framework and structure to work from was integral in assisting nurses and leaders in educating additional team members throughout the pandemic.

By utilizing the accredited nurse residency program’s resources and support, nurses who needed to transition received the education necessary to be successful and competent in their new roles from leaders they trusted in collaboration with other cohorts.

Nurse Residency Program Targets Education

Jennifer Curran, DNP, RN, NPD-BC, Director of the Transitions to Practice Program at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, shared how accreditation of her organization’s nurse residency program from ANCC Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (PTAP) has been crucial during this difficult time.

“I really pulled from the PTAP standards that we have for our critical care residencies, and we used that as a framework going forward,” said Curran.

Quality, targeted education is just one component of a PTAP-accredited nurse residency program. Cultivating a supportive and positive organizational culture and practice environment for new nurses to learn and grow is equally critical to their success. Curran speaks favorably of the culture at MGH, which features a strong commitment to nurses’ needs, starting with a successful transition to practice.

Nurses in Curran’s residency program say they feel empowered, welcomed, and grateful. They know they are supported every step of the way.

“The voice of each practitioner, no matter what discipline he or she is from, is heard and respected. … You know you’re valued,” Jennifer shared.

Grateful for the opportunity to apply for accreditation, Curran said, “Organizational support, from the chief nursing officer down to my boss, was phenomenal. I’m proud to work for an organization that is able to offer new graduate nurses an accredited residency program. It’s the best opportunity to learn.”

This solid foundation of support and expertise can have a tremendous impact on a nurse, not only during a pandemic, but all the time. Through collaboration, mentorship, and quality, organizations like MGH provide the tools and resources that nurses value. Transitioning to and in practice is challenging, but the experience that MGH and its accredited nurse residency program cultivates allows nurses to navigate those challenges confidently.

As Curran noted, “It speaks to the professionalism of the institution, especially nursing, to say, ‘Don’t worry. We’ve got this. We’ll help you.’”

Now more than ever, nurse leaders like Curran are witnessing the multitude of benefits associated with having an accredited nurse residency, and they are seeing firsthand the impact of having the right support for nurses, especially during a crisis.

Discover how ANCC PTAP accreditation can positively impact your organization with a complimentary gap analysis tool from PTAP.


nurse residency


Through education, preceptorship, and engagement opportunities with organizational leaders, PTAP-accredited programs guide nurses and provide essential support when it is needed most. Nurse residency programs that meet a rigorous set of criteria, like the one at MGH, can apply for ANCC PTAP accreditation – an elite recognition demonstrating excellence in transition to practice.

Learn more about PTAP accreditation at

About the Author:

The American Nurses Association (ANA) represents the interests of millions of registered nurses. It works to advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice; promoting a safe and ethical work environment; bolstering the health and wellness of nurses; and advocating on healthcare issues that affect nurses and the public. The association also believes nurses should play a vital role in developing policy initiatives. The ANA, together with the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the American Nurses Foundation, formed the ANA Enterprise to drive excellence in practice and ensure that policy leaders, industry influencers, and employers around the country recognize nurses’ voice and vision. Learn more at

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