Cedars-Sinai's DEI nurse residency program looks to break 'cookie-cutter' standards

Los Angeles-based Cedars-Sinai saw a need to offer support for newly hired nurses who have experience, but not in a hospital setting to help them transition, which prompted it to launch the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Transition to Practice Program.

The onset of the pandemic led many hospitals to hit pause on nurse residency programs. Instead, many newly certified nurses went to work giving COVID-19 vaccines, at medical offices or skilled nursing facilities outside of hospitals. 

The Cedars-Sinai program is one year long and offers similar workshops and mentoring that new nurse graduates would get, which helps ease nurses into a hospital setting. The program's focus on diversity, it says, has allowed the system to recruit and train professionals from a variety of schools and backgrounds. 

"It’s easy for hospitals to develop cookie-cutter requirements for nurses and only accept nurses from a top nursing school or who have a very specific kind of experience," Kathleen Burgner, BSN, RN, a nursing professional development practitioner in Cedars-Sinai's Geri and Richard Brawerman Nursing Institute, and leader of the transition training program said in a statement. "We discovered we were missing out on a lot of talented nurses who just needed a pathway to transition from one kind of nursing care to another."

Individuals in the program are held to high standards and encouraged to take on leadership roles in their units to help bring other new nurses up to speed.

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