Pros & Cons of Nurse Residency Programs (2022)

Debates surrounding the advantages and disadvantages of nurse residency programs have persisted for years. While many healthcare organizations believe that nurse residency programs are a necessity, others remain wary of the high costs and long-term commitments associated with them.

In addition, nursing graduates are often eager to leave the classroom behind and jump straight into their careers, skipping residency programs altogether. Unfortunately, this leaves many new nurses without the hands-on training and clinical skills necessary for success, contributing to burnout and high turnover rates that can cost a hospital between $55,000 to $85,000 per nurse.


But for institutions already facing staffing shortages, the prospect of putting new hires through a residency program, thus delaying their full-time start date, can be daunting. In these cases, the immediate need for nurses often supersedes any threat of burnout or turnover.

For nursing management considering the pros and cons of residency programs, understanding the goals and effectiveness of nurse residency programs can help ensure they make the right choice for their institution.

What is a Nurse Residency Program?

A nurse residency program is designed to help recent nursing graduates gain the knowledge and hands-on experience they need to provide informed, high-quality care to their patients. It also helps combat lateral violence by ensuring new nurses have built-in mentors and support systems within their healthcare organizations.

Nurse residency programs are usually specialized to allow nurses to hone their skills and becomefamiliar and comfortable with the specificprocedures, policies, and technologies implemented within their department. By equipping participants for professional success, nurse residency programs can increase nurse retention and satisfaction.

Hospitals can purchase comprehensive nurse residency programs — which typically last anywhere from six to 12 months — on behalf of their staff, rather than build them from the ground up. While these programs are often designed around a pre-set curriculum to help facilitate standardization across healthcare institutions, hospitals can tailor them to meet their unique needs and goals.

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Some of the most common goals of nurse residency programs include:

  • Helping new hires confidently transition from student to nurse
  • Identifying and addressing gaps in a nurse’s clinical knowledge
  • Improving nurses’ critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills
  • Fostering continuous professional growth and development
  • Reducing turnover and improving the patient experience through skilled nursing

What are the Benefits of a Nurse Residency Program?

Nurse residency programs benefit the nurses who participate in them as well as the hospitals that offer them. While nursing school attempts to replicate and prepare students for the hospital setting, healthcare professionals know better than anyone that a classroom is no replacement for the real thing. Instead of dropping new nurses into the middle of the pool and hoping they learn how to stay afloat, residency programs provide them with the skills they need to swim.

Some of the benefits of nurse residency programs include:

Improvement in Clinical Judgment and Critical Competencies

Clinical judgment is a must-have for any healthcare provider. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to develop clinical judgment in the classroom setting, meaning a nurse only begins honing this critical skill once they start working. Residency programs help new employees improve their critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills before they begin practicing independently, empowering nurses to trust their clinical abilities and improve patient outcomes.

Decrease in Burnout

Burnout has been a major problem within healthcare organizations for years. According to a report from the National Academy of Medicine, 35% to 54% of U.S. nurses and physicians manifest symptoms of burnout, including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization or cynicism, and reduced personal accomplishment. Burnout can cause nurses to leave their jobs and directly impact their ability to provide quality care.


Some of the key causes of burnout, including high stress and lack of support, can be mitigated by nurse residency programs that facilitate mentorship and collaboration within nursing departments.

Reduction in Turnover and Financial Savings

While employee turnover is a significant problem within the healthcare industry as a whole, it is particularly prevalent among first-year nurses, who often begin their clinical work without the skills or support they need to succeed. This results in a 25% turnover rate among first-year nurses, which translates into serious financial costs for hospitals.

Research indicates that nurse residency programs can reduce new nurse turnover upwards of 20% for some hospitals. This helps institutions save on the costs associated with recruiting and onboarding replacement staff as well as the cost of hiring interim contract employees.

Increase in Nurse Confidence

A nurse’s first days on the job can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing as they learn how to perform the clinical work that is now demanded of them. Nurse residency programs serve as a buffer between school and independent practice, helping increase nurses’ confidence and competence.

A confident nurse will call a doctor when something looks wrong and trust their instincts when they believe a patient needs a new course of treatment — and it can mean the difference between a positive and negative outcome for a patient.

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Better Patient Care

Simply put, when nurses come to their jobs equipped with the knowledge, clinical judgment, and confidence necessary for success, their patients receive higher-quality care.

What are the Disadvantages of a Nurse Residency Program?

Nurse administrators must consider several disadvantages of nurse residency programs in addition to the advantages. The disadvantages of nurse residency programs include:

Upfront Costs for Hospitals

Developing a robust nurse residency program requires a significant upfront investment. This upfront cost is often cited as one of the biggest challenges hospitals face when implementing a nurse residency program, despite hospital administrators’ best efforts to receive financial assistance from state and federal government agencies as well as philanthropic organizations.

Program Maintenance

Whether in the form of new technology or best practices, the healthcare field is constantly evolving. A nurse residency program is only as good as its ability to keep pace with these changes. The effort required to maintain a nimble nurse residency program can be challenging for some healthcare organizations, especially those who are understaffed and spread thin.

Contractual Commitments for Nurses

Most employers who offer nurse residency programs require new hires to sign a contract committing them to a set number of years working for the hospital. This contract makes it much more difficult for nurses to leave and work elsewhere if the hospital turns out not to be a good fit for them. New nurses are encouraged to conduct extensive research about a potential new employer before they sign any contractual agreement.

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Variations in Pay for Nurses

Nurse residency programs are seen as a valuable benefit and are often considered part of a nurse’s compensation, resulting in a lower salary. Fortunately, most nurses will experience a pay increase after they finish their residency and attain new credentials and skills, even if they move to another institution.

Set Your Nurses Up for Success

Healthcare professionals should consider these disadvantages when deciding whether or not to participate in a nurse residency program. For many, the various advantages of these programs far outweigh the disadvantages, but it is still important to consider all of the components before making a final decision.

As hundreds of thousands of nurses approach retirement and turnover rates rise, it is more important than ever for hospitals to set their nurses — and particularly recent nursing graduates — up for success. A robust nurse residency program is a great way to do just that. But simply investing in a new nurse residency program isn’t enough. To reap the full benefits of these programs, hospitals must implement internal assessments that help them identify and fill gaps in a new nurse’s knowledge base.


What is your greatest concern in regards to the nurse residency program? ›

One of the biggest disadvantages of nurse residency programs is that you may have to work extremely long hours. You may have to work sometimes 12 to 13-hour shifts. This can be exhausting work.

How long are most nurse residency programs? ›

A nurse residency program is meant to help recent graduates transition into clinical practice. Residency programs typically last from 6 to 12 months and serve as an opportunity for graduates to hone critical-thinking and evidence-based decision making skills.

What is the most difficult nursing specialty? ›

What Are the Hardest Nursing Specialties?
  • Oncology. There's no surprise that this one is near the top of the list. ...
  • Hospice. ...
  • Medical-Surgical. ...
  • Geriatric Care. ...
  • Emergency Room. ...
  • Psychiatry. ...
  • Correctional Nursing. ...
  • Home Health.
Sep 24, 2012

What is the purpose of a residency? ›

Residents work at hospitals or doctors' offices to continue their education and training in a specialized field of medicine. A resident may work like this for three to seven years, a period known as residency. During their residency, doctors provide direct care.

Are RN residency programs worth it? ›

Nurse residency programs are seen as a valuable benefit and are often considered part of a nurse's compensation, resulting in a lower salary. Fortunately, most nurses will experience a pay increase after they finish their residency and attain new credentials and skills, even if they move to another institution.

What are the benefits of nurse residency programs? ›

Nurse residency programs are designed to increase competence and skill, and ease the transition from student to new graduate nurse. These programs also offer the possibility to positively influence the job satisfaction of new graduate nurses, which could decrease poor nursing outcomes.

How do nurses prepare for residency? ›

Residency programs are paid and often full-time.
4 Ways to Prepare for Your Nurse Residency Program
  1. Know and Understand What You're in For. ...
  2. Select Comfortable and Practical Attire. ...
  3. Bring All the Right Tools for the Job. ...
  4. Prepare for an Onslaught of Stress.

How many nurse residency programs are there in the US? ›

As of 2021, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and Vizient Performance Management operate the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program, with year-long residencies at over 600 hospitals and health systems across the country25.

How much do nurse residency programs pay in Texas? ›

How much does a Nurse Residency make in Texas? As of Jul 25, 2022, the average annual pay for the Nurse Residency jobs category in Texas is $52,795 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $25.38 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,015/week or $4,400/month.

Who are the happiest nurses? ›

  1. Nurse Educator. This is one of the least stressful nursing jobs available. ...
  2. School Nurse/Summer Camp Nurse. If you love children, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. ...
  3. Nurse Administrator. ...
  4. Public Health Nurse. ...
  5. Nurse Researcher. ...
  6. Nurse Informaticist. ...
  7. Case Management Nurse. ...
  8. Home Health Nurse.
Sep 30, 2020

What type of nurse is most in demand? ›

Registered nurse (RN)

BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.

What is the easiest floor to work on as a nurse? ›

And frankly, the easiest and fastest way to get a job as a new grad is to go to a med/surg floor. They are always some of the most challenging floors to keep staffed in the hospital and are usually the most willing to hire new grads.

What comes after a residency? ›

After residency, a physician may pursue further training and specialization in their field through a fellowship. Each specialty has different fellowships that typically last one to two years.

How many hours does a resident work? ›

In the United States, senior residents may work up to 80 hours a week, averaged over four weeks and up to 24 hours continuously, but junior interns are limited to 16 hours of continuous work.

Do you make money during residency? ›

The average first-year resident physician makes about $60,000, and there's not much wiggle room. Resident salaries are determined by an institution and correlate with training year rather than specialty.

How competitive is Vanderbilt nurse residency program? ›

The VUMCNRP is highly competitive — this is the only way Vanderbilt will hire new graduate nurses, and with it being such a fantastic hospital, it is a dream come true for new nurses across the country. I heard that over 500 people applied… I am excited and honored to be chosen for this opportunity."

Do nurses do stitches? ›

Advanced practice nurses, such as nurse practitioners or nurse-midwives, can suture in most states.

What is a nurse fellowship? ›

Nursing fellowships are available for registered nurses (RNs) and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) in many different specialties. The main goals of these types of programs are to help nurses advance in their careers or successfully transition from one specialty to another.

Do hospitals look at GPA when hiring nurses? ›

First, because no one ever asks about GPAs in a nursing interview, they do not matter. Just because nobody has ever asked about your GPA doesn't mean that it's not a consideration. It is most certainly a consideration for internships, residency programs, and jobs that are taking on new-grads.

Why are new grad residency programs important? ›

Residency programs focus on building decision-making skills, reducing burnout, developing clinical leadership, and incorporating research into nursing practice. Evidence supports formal new grad transition programs because they result in good retention and improved competency.

How many years does it take to become a nurse? ›

ADN programs generally take about two years to complete and prepare you to take the NCLEX licensure exam to become a registered nurse. A BSN degree is typically a four-year program.

How do I prepare for a nursing residency interview? ›

Common New Grad Nurse Interview Questions and Answers
  1. What can you bring to our team?
  2. Who are your biggest influences?
  3. Do you have any hobbies?
  4. Describe a challenge you faced and how you overcame it.
  5. What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Sep 5, 2017

What questions are asked in a new grad nursing interview? ›

Common new grad nursing interview questions
  • Describe a challenge you have faced and how you overcame it.
  • What is your availability?
  • Who have been the biggest influences in your life?
  • Do you think this company would be a good fit for you?
  • What do you believe you can offer our team?

What questions should I ask in a new grad nurse interview? ›

5 Good Questions To Ask At The End Of Your New Grad Nursing Interview
  • What do other nurses like about working here? ...
  • Which EMR system does your facility use? ...
  • What is your nurse-to-patient staffing ratio? ...
  • Do you offer a retirement plan? ...
  • What qualities are you looking for in a nurse?

How do nurse residency programs affect patient outcomes? ›

Nurse residency programs have been shown to be builders of confidence with residents showing statistically significant increases in confidence in their clinical skills, ability to communicate with patients and patient's families, and in their clinical leadership (Goode et al., 2009).

Does Boston Children's Hospital hire new grads? ›

Boston Children's Nursing Department offers programs with tailored orientation and training opportunities for registered experienced nurses, new nursing graduates and students.

How much do new grad nurses make in Dallas? ›

RN New Grad in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX Area Salaries
Job TitleLocationSalary
Texas Health Resources New Grad RN salaries - 3 salaries reportedDallas-Fort Worth, TX Area$30/hr
Baylor Scott & White Health New Grad RN salaries - 2 salaries reportedDallas-Fort Worth, TX Area$29/hr
17 more rows
Dec 13, 2021

How long is Utsw nurse residency? ›

How long is the Nurse Residency Program position? The UTSW Nurse Residency Program is a 12-month program planned to support graduate nurses transitioning into their first professional nursing role.

How much do nurse residents make at UT Southwestern? ›

Average UT Southwestern Medical Center Registered Nurse yearly pay in Texas is approximately $61,357, which is 6% below the national average.

Which describes the role of the nurse in the resolution of ethical dilemmas? ›

Nursing plays a unique and critical role in the resolution of difficult ethical situations The nurse is often able to contribute information not available to others on the team, the result of the special relationship that nurses build with patients.

Which statement is an example of the therapeutic communication technique focusing? ›

"You mentioned your relationship with your father. Let's discuss that further." This is an example of the therapeutic communication technique of focusing. Focusing takes notice of a single idea or even a single word and works especially well with a client who is moving rapidly from one thought to another.

Who determines the scope of practice for nurses? ›

The nursing scope of practice varies by nursing licensure and state. Checking with your state Board of Nursing is a reliable way to ensure you are following all regulations. Here are some commonalities many states share under their nursing scopes of practice by nursing licensure.

When signing a form as a witness your signature shows that the client? ›

When signing a form as a witness, your signature shows that the client: A. Is fully informed and is aware of all consequences.

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So, can nurse practitioners work internationally?. To be eligible to work one of these international nurse practitioner jobs, you must:. First, you must be in the United States when you complete the online application.. Case management is another international nurse practitioner job in which you may not do direct clinical work, instead you work for a health system or global insurance company.. To be eligible to work as a case manager for an international company, you may not have to live in the country in which your patients are located.. To be eligible for this international nurse practitioner job, you must:. Consulting for an international company is one of the most versatile international nurse practitioner jobs.

Hospice care can provide comfort and pain relief for those nearing the end of their life. We researched the best hospice care services based on cost, insurance or Medicare/Medicaid coverage, variety of payment options, and more.

If a person already lives in a nursing home facility or is hospitalized, they may receive special hospice care from trained hospice personnel that work within that facility, which may also affect hospice care agencies available to you or a loved one.. We researched and reviewed more than 30 hospice care services with a nationwide presence of 14 or more states to select the best hospice services that offer unique services, have received national recognition for their levels of care, and provide care that is at or exceeds Medicare’s standards for hospice best practices.. Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP), one of the largest benchmark organizations for hospice in the nation, awarded Encompass Health’s Hospice in Rainbow City, Alabama, its Top Performing Agency award for 2019. SHP cited this hospice location as having the top overall score for hospice caregiver satisfaction.. For example, the Kindred site listed four requirements for Medicare fully covering hospice care and the variety of services it could provide under Medicare’s hospice benefit, including doctor services, nursing care, dietary counseling, hospice aide services, and music, pet, or massage therapies (availability depending on location).. According to LexisNexis, it is the third top hospice provider in the country, with 2.32 percent of the hospice market share. Some hospice locations may be called HCR ManorCare while others are called Heartland Hospice, which can lead to some confusion.. According to NHPCO, in 2018, Medicare paid an average of $12,200 per patient for hospice care. Although there is little data on private pay benefits for hospice, many private insurance companies cover hospice because it tends to be less expensive than the costs of seeking emergency care and inpatient care as a person nears the end of their life.. While hospice care is most commonly delivered at home, a person may also receive hospice care services at an inpatient facility, such as an extended-care or inpatient hospice center.

What is a Magnet hospital? Why does it matter? What is the Magnet BSN requirement all about? What do nurses have to say about it? This guide covers it all!

In 1993, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) announced it’s Magnet Hospital Recognition Program for Excellence in Nursing Services program.. The American Nurses Association and the ANCC recognize Magnet hospitals as those who create and sustain a culture of excellence.. But what exactly is a Magnet hospital and what are the Magnet BSN requirements?. Magnet status is an award given by the ANCC to hospitals that satisfy specific standards for patient care and nursing quality.. Hospitals that achieve Magnet status are recognized for creating a collaborative culture that places nurses at the center of patients’ journeys.. In 1983, The American Academy of Nursing (AAN) Task Force on Nursing Practice in Hospitals conducted a study to identify specific qualities in hospitals.. Magnet status means the nursing leaders value their nursing staff, and nurses are involved in the decision-making process of patient care.. Nursing departments in Magnet hospitals:. These criteria help hospital and nursing staff develop evidence-based nursing practices.. Although some hospitals hire nurses with associate degrees, some have a Magnet BSN requirement and most give preference to RNs with BSNs.. Research Magnet status hospitals in your area and develop relationships with the HR department or nurse leaders on the floor you are interested in pursuing.. The American Nurses Association has a tool that nurses can use to find magnet-approved hospital systems in their state.. Depending on the area you live and work, your hospital system may pay for you to obtain your BSN if it has a Magnet BSN requirement.. It’s important for nurses to check the hospital system in their areas before deciding to pursue ADN, hoping the hospital will pay for their BSN.

In most cases, you won’t qualify for Medicaid outright. You or your family must meet both financial and non-financial eligibility criteria to obtain coverage.

Mandatory BenefitsOptional Benefits In-patient hospital and physician careClinic servicesEarly and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT)Prescription drugsHome health servicesPhysical and occupational therapyNursing facility servicesVision and dental servicesLaborator and X-ray servicesPersonal care servicesTransportation to medical careChiropractic servicesFamily planning servicesHospiceRural health clinic and federally qualified health center servicesHearing aidsNurse midwife servicesCase managementCertified pediatric and family nurse practitioner servicesPrivate-duty nursing servicesSome Medicaid programs pay for health care directly, while others cover beneficiaries through private managed-care plans.. Medicaid is a joint state-federal program serving low-income individuals of every age, whereas Medicare is a federal program that primarily covers people older than 65 years old, regardless of their income, and also covers dialysis patients and younger disabled people.. Although Medicaid primarily focuses on low-income groups, many states run expanded Medicaid programs to cover all individuals below specific income levels.. Although there are several qualifying factors, you can qualify based on your income alone if your state has expanded its Medicaid program.. If your income or assets exceed your state’s Medicaid income threshold, your state may run a spend-down program that lets you qualify for coverage by spending the income above your program limits.. Once the incurred medical expenses exceed the difference between your income and your state’s Medicaid income limit, as part of the spend-down, Medicaid benefits will be authorized for all or part of the base period.. States with a medically needy program must also allow spend-down for blind, aged, and disabled people who don’t meet the Medicaid eligibility requirements.

Having a child sleep in your bed can reduce sleep quality for the child and parents. Learn more about how to help children sleep on their own.

Solitary sleeping: This is the child sleeping in his or her own room, on his or her own sleep surface.. Dr. Basora-Rovira says, “The recommendation overall is that kids should sleep on their own, on their own surface, in their own room.” If the family makes the choice of co-sleeping, they should practice safe sleep practices and co-sleep consistently.. Dr. Basora-Rovira says there is no specific age that is “too old” for co-sleeping.. And, if you are already co-sleeping with your child, to transition him or her out of your bed and into his or her own room as soon as possible.. Some children can make the transition in just three or four nights, while other children may take up to weeks or even months.. Dr. Basora-Rovira explains: “All of us wake up between 5 and 9 times during the night.


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