Residency Overview: Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program

— Research shows that new graduate nurses employed in acute care facilities often experience challenges in the transition from nursing student to professional nurse. The chief nursing officers of academic medical centers (through University HealthSystem Consortium -UHC), in collaboration with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), have implemented a national program that reflects best practices for integrating new graduate nurses into the workforce. The Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ at PHSJMC hired its first cohort of new graduate nurses in late summer 2015.

Structure—Goals for nurses participating in the residency program include: transitioning from entry level to competent professional nurse, developing effective clinical judgment, providing clinical leadership at the point of care, formulating an individual career development plan, incorporating research and evidence into practice, and successful integrating into the health care team as a competent and confident nurse. The nurse residency program at PHSJMC is structured according to the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Vizient/AACN. Key features include:

  • Clinical orientation with a trained preceptor; extended orientation for specialty practice areas
  • Paid monthly 8 hour seminars during the first year of employment.  Seminars are led by content experts and emphasize patient outcomes, professional development, leadership, evidence-based practice, and clinical reasoning
  • Completion of an evidence-based practice project

Who Participates—All nurses meeting the following criteria:

  • Any ADN or BSN-prepared nurse with less than 1 year since graduation

Expectations of the Nurse Resident—Each resident:

  • Attends and participates actively in all residency program activities 
  • Promotes a culture of evidence-based practice by completing an evidence-based practice clinical project
  • Completes all required assessment tools at the beginning, middle, and end of the 1-year residency program
  • Commits to working at PHSJMC for 2 years from time of hire
  • Enrolls in a BSN or MSN program within 2 years of hire (for ADN nurses)
  • Completes a BSN degree within 5 years of hire (for ADN nurses)
PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center
2901 Squalicum Pkwy
Bellingham, WA 98225