YNHH earns recognition, funding for residency program for new nurses

nurse residency

YNHH staff joined Connecticut Department of Labor officials at an event to recognize the hospital’s Nurse Residency Program. The DOL awarded a federal grant to support the program, which helps new nurses transition into hospital careers.

The transition from school to the workforce can be challenging in any profession.

For new nurses, who have people’s health and safety in their hands – literally – the transition can be overwhelming. To help, in 2005 Yale New Haven Hospital established a Nurse Residency Program (NRP), which provides a year of instruction, on-the-job learning and extensive mentoring and support. The NRP has helped reduce the percentage of new nurses who leave YNHH in the first year to 7.6 percent, compared to the national average of 17.2 percent.

In recognition of the program’s success, the Connecticut Department of Labor/ Office of Apprenticeship Training recently awarded YNHH federal funds that will cover a portion of the residency costs.

“We are pleased to receive this grant, which will support the significant investment Yale New Haven Hospital makes in our new nurses,” said Judith Hahn, RN, PhD, director of Nursing Professional Practice. “The complexities of the healthcare environment today require this kind of investment in order to develop nurses’ clinical and leadership skills and improve patient outcomes.”

Grant funds come from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which has previously supported only manufacturing and other skilled labor apprenticeship programs. Hahn, who led the effort to implement YNHH’s nurse residency program and helped secure DOL funding, will participate in the ApprenticeshipUSA Leaders of Excellence in Apprenticeship Development Education and Research (LEADER) campaign, a national movement to expand registered apprenticeship programs across the U.S.

Each year, YNHH welcomes about 400 new nurses, who are divided into cohorts for the residency apprenticeship. Besides receiving instruction, the cohorts complete a project related to research or practice improvement and have opportunities to share their experiences.

“The nurses really appreciate having safe places to talk about the challenges of being a novice nurse,” Hahn said. “Graduate nurses have choices about which organization to work for. Our residency apprenticeship program demonstrates to them that we offer our people a lot of support.”