Inside Jefferson's push to engage retired nurses

Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health is keeping more retired nurses connected to the system through its Nurse Emeritus program.

The program launched in November 2022 with five registered nurses at hospitals in New Jersey. The nurses act as in-person mentors to new-to-practice nurses establishing their skills, reported March 21. Since its launch, 12 retired nurses have joined the program and work in departments ranging from medical-surgical to the neonatal intensive care unit.

The program offers retirees an opportunity to reenter the workforce and provide guidance to new nurses and help nurses at the bedside. To participate, retired nurses must have an active New Jersey nursing license, work at least eight hours per month and have retired in the last three years. Nurse Emeritus participants work in an education-based role and do not perform hands-on clinical care or medication administration.

In April 2023, the program expanded to leadership with three new roles: Emeritus Clinical Nurses who work at the bedside, Emeritus Nurse Leaders who work at the department, regional or system level on nursing workforce projects, and Emeritus Specialty Nurses who work at the bedside or complete educational projects, according to a system news release.

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