ROGERS - Starting work as a nurse can be overwhelming to new graduates, with some new nurses becoming burned out even during the first year, said Toni Walker, a nursing educator for Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas.
Mercy Hospital hopes to ease the transition for new graduates with a nursing residency program that will begin this summer with 26 nurses. The 12-month program will include orientation classes, continuing education and monthly meetings where nurses will have a chance to discuss any issues they encounter. There will be a comprehensive curriculum delivered in a variety of education styles, including presentations, lectures, guided hands-on training and patient simulations.
In addition to the educational program, nurses will be placed on an assigned unit with a preceptor for one-on-one clinical experience. The length of time working alongside the preceptor will vary with each specific unit and each individual's learning needs.
Residency nurses will be hired to work in a specific department, but the residency program will include multidisciplinary work that allows the new nurses to work and observe in other departments. In addition, Walker and Bengs will be available to help students, whether they need advice about patient care or how to deal with stress.