Innovative Nurse Residency Program Aims to Reduce Nurse Turnover

Innovative Nurse Residency Program Aims to Reduce Nurse Turnover. White nursing shoes on a floor covered in white arrows pointing in all directions.

Nurses comprise the largest group of health care professionals and yet the health care field is facing critical nurse shortages.

According to the 2022 NSI National Healthcare Retention report, there is a 17% RN vacancy rate, and the turnover rate for newly graduated nurses is at an all-time high (31.7%).

But amidst this workforce crisis, CommonSpirit Health and Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE), a workforce development platform created by Dignity Health, teamed up to launch a nurse residency program designed to meet this challenge head on. Dignity Health is owned by CommonSpirit.

This turnkey, customizable program allows hospitals and health systems to implement a residency program across each of their sites and specialties. Participating health care organizations receive full support from the DHGE program support specialists, instructional designers and technologists who provide tailored step-by-step implementation. Decision-makers will be able to predict retention rates and measure the true effectiveness of the program through reporting, deep insights and real-time data. The platform also provides an easy-to-scale technology infrastructure that can be tailored to each organization’s unique needs.

This 12-month program is offered to organizations seeking to improve their nurse retention, increase satisfaction and well-being of their workforce, and lessen new nurse attrition rates. CommonSpirit Health CNO Kathy Sanford said that it aims to increase RN retention by 20% or higher; delivering substantial savings in hiring and retention costs; standardizing excellence; delivering and measuring evidence-based clinical practices; and providing a scaled foundation for new nurses who are transitioning into practice.

The program is organized into two phases: Phase 1, clinical integration, is a full-time, 16- to 24-week commitment in which the resident completes cohort-based, unit-specific courses. During Phase 2, the independence stage, residents dedicate one to four hours a week to the remainder of the residency program by engaging in a mentorship program, completing additional course work and submitting an evidence-based project.

In addition, the program allows the new nurse workforce to build skills and confidence faster while encouraging leaders to identify problems earlier and intervene with real-time data. By emphasizing frequent, structured touch points among the resident, preceptors, unit leaders, educators and mentors during both phases, mentors can check on role satisfaction and well-being throughout a new employee’s first 12-months.

Kurt Hayes, DHGE’s chief product officer, recently told BusinessWire that this nurse residency program “aims to make a significant impact in nurse retention while simultaneously lowering hiring and retention costs for system partners, saving hospitals millions of dollars, which will result in better patient outcomes.”

AHA Center for Health Innovation logo

Related Resources