Wesley Healthcare
July 18, 2017

WICHITA – Brand new nurses at Wesley Healthcare now will find unprecedented support during their first year under a new nurse residency program designed to mentor, train and retain one of healthcare’s most valued resources.

Statistics show that new nurses are most susceptible to leaving around nine months after they are first hired. HCA, Wesley’s parent company, hopes to curb that trend by creating a comprehensive training and support program that will not only will increase a nurse’s skill set, but encourage and support new nurses as they develop into the profession.

“It is our hope that this additional support of our new graduate nurses will strengthen their learning experiences and help them handle the inevitable challenges of being a new nurse,” said staff development educator Laurie Regehr, a facility coordinator for his program.

Beginning this summer, graduate nurses hired by Wesley will begin their career with a 12-month, formalized series of learning experiences that include monthly educational sessions, guided clinical experiences with preceptors, mentoring and debriefing with their nurse leaders.

The Wesley residency program is a full-time, entry-level registered nurse career opportunity that supports new graduates as they transition from student nurse into the professional nursing role responsible for patient care in a hospital unit.

“Nurse residency programs provide a structure to help new graduate nurse integrate into practice,” said Joyce Soule, Wesley Healthcare chief nursing officer. “These programs are proven to build confidence and proficiency in delivering quality patient care, and to develop future nurse leaders.”

Nurse residents will undergo two- to four- hour training sessions beginning in the fall to enhance their professional development and will complete an evidence-based capstone project before they graduate in one year.

Monthly training sessions will cover topics such as compassionate communication, safety, developing a professional growth plan, accountability and ethics.

Nursing leadership will play an integral role in the nurse resident’s growth as well through weekly check-ins and 30, 60 and 90-day in-depth reviews and support.

“Our curriculum is designed to promote both clinical and professional growth and development,” Soule said.

Wesley has long worked hard to support and train new nurse graduates. A transition-of-practice program developed in 2013 and put in place in 2014 has supported new nurses in the clinical setting during a three-month program that included monthly sessions. Nurses were on their own after the initial clinical orientation was completed.

The new, year-long nurse residency program focuses not only on the clinical side, but also on the professional development of the nurse as a patient advocate, Regehr said. The idea is to improve retention and nurse support, a common goal that HCA, Wesley’s parent company latched on to when it began developing the corporate-wide nurse residency program.

“The cool thing about this new program is it brings together the resources HCA has to offer, the development and the standardization of materials,” Regehr said. “Ultimately, though, this is about the patient. To make sure that the patient receives the best care possible.”