Residency Isn’t Just for Doctors? Effects of Nurse Residency Programs on Turnover & Retention Rates
Entry into independent practice as a newly graduated nurse is often overwhelming and can be a difficult experience for which to prepare. It can be physically and emotionally taxing and unexpectedly challenging as a new nurse. This challenge leads to increased turnover (nurses leaving an organization voluntarily) and a decrease in retention rates (keeping nurses in the employment of an organization). A recent change to assist new graduates in the transition to practice is a nurse residency program, a program of varying length (typically 6-12 months) that allows new graduate nurses to acclimate to their new career through additional didactic coursework, clinical simulation, preceptorship and mentorship. The aim of this evidence-based practice brief is to answer the following question: do higher retention rates exist among “new grad” nurses who participate in nurse residency programs compared to those who do not?” New graduate nurse turnover rates are roughly 30% in the first year of practice, and as high as 57% in the second year (Lippincott Solutions, 2017). New nurse attrition is costly and can negatively impact patient-care quality. This pertains to the nursing profession in that it may be possible to experience greater job satisfaction and improved patient and nurse outcomes through the implementation of nurse residency programs.