Colorado hospital starts nurse residency program

Aspen (Colo.) Valley Hospital has launched a residency program for local nurses with a two-fold aim of investing in the surrounding region and boosting nurse retention rates for new nurses.

To assist the new nurses in transitioning to practice full-time, the residency program will combine seminars, simulations and labs with hands-on training at the hospital, all accompanied by mentors who are there to guide them. 

The program is open for application to recent nursing school graduates who hold a degree from an accredited nursing program in the U.S. and are also licensed to practice in Colorado by the time the program begins in August.

Accepted individuals will be required to commit to two years, one in the residency program and one working on staff at Aspen Valley Hospital. 

"The reality is a lot of new graduates come to realize what they don't know in their first six months and confidence can drop at that point, which can lead to mistakes," April Roark-Gay, DNP, RN, who developed the program, said in a statement. "After nine to 12 months they feel much more capable of independent practice. Our program is designed to get them to that place of confidence and competence."

Program outreach will be tailored to local and regional graduates as part of one of the hospital's overarching goals to invest in and employ individuals who live and work in the area. 

The application period runs through May 30, and the new cohort will reportedly begin practice and seminars at the hospital in August.

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