Nurse residency program doubles-down on ED training

Training for the first cohort of Neenah, Wis.-based ThedaCare's nurse residency program is underway at seven of its hospitals. The system adopted the program with an aim to improve retention of new nurses and better equip them for the demands of emergency department care, according to a June 13 news release.

The health system's new Emergency Nurses Residency Program is 18 weeks long — four of which are in a classroom setting. The curriculum combines classroom training with hands-on clinical practice and places a priority on clinical judgment and acclimating nurses into EDs efficiently. Students in the program, which was designed by the Emergency Nurses Association, also shadow experienced ED nurses. 

"I had been researching how other hospitals and academic medical centers were developing their ED training," Audrey Rosin, RN, manager of Emergency Services at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah said in a statement. "One of the biggest challenges to creating educational content is that clinical care and medicine changes all the time. What we knew a year or two ago might be very different, so it takes a lot of manpower to keep the educational content updated."

Adopting the ENA's programming answered many of the challenges Ms. Rosin described, and ThedaCare's leadership was eager to adopt and support it upon her presentation of it, according to the release. 

The program began training its first cohort in early June and is off to a strong start, according to Ms. Rosin. It will likely become a standard for onboarding all nurses across ThedaCare ED's, she said. 

While the fruit from the program may not fully be seen for several years, she said she is already seeing engagement and excitement around it.

"I’m encouraged that I’ve already noticed our ED nurses with 10 to 12 years of experience engaging with the program," she said in a statement. "They are excited to be teaching the content to our new nurses, and they're learning new things, too."

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