Nurse Residency Program at Bonner General Health

BGH Nurse Residents for 2018 from left to right:

Jessica Hutchings, Madison Crowley, Ivy Tillo, and Jessica Geanetta. 

For newly graduated nurses, the changeover from student nurse to RN can be an exciting time, accompanied by apprehension and fear.  Bonner General Health is committed to helping new nurses make the transition from school to a career as seamless as possible through our Nurse Residency Program. We partner with the Iowa Online Nurse Residency program to support that transition and help nurses become confident and independent caregivers.

The Residency program is two-fold.  First, nurse residents connect with other nurse residents across the nation online through monthly webinars and modules for a twelve-month period.

Some of the topics that are covered include:

  • Assessment and critical thinking
  • Legal issues and documentation
  • Change of shift reporting
  • When to call the doctor
  • Reality shock
  • Work-life balance
  • Spiritual and end-of-life care
  • Compassion fatigue
  • Understanding health care reform
  • Conflict management
  • Time management and Prioritization

The second component of the nurse residency program is in-hospital hands-on learning and ongoing mentoring through an extensive orientation program.  In the beginning, nurse residents will have the opportunity to spend two weeks in each of our nursing departments for familiarization.  The departments include Medical/Surgical, Post-Partum/Labor and Delivery, Same Day Surgery, the Emergency Department, and the Intensive Care Unit.  This provides a basic understanding of the variety of nursing opportunities throughout the hospital.  Following the 10-week familiarization of our nursing departments, the nurse resident will choose an area of interest to receive a more comprehensive orientation.  This also provides specialization in the chosen area of nursing through an organized orientation TRACK, chosen by the nurse resident.

The three TRACK specialties are:

  • Med/Surg and Post-Partum, with the option to specialize in Labor and Delivery
  • Critical Care and Emergency Department
  • Same Day Surgery/Post-Operative Care, or specialize in the Operating Room as a surgical nurse

Following completion of the orientation, nurses are able to fill positions within their chosen departments. BGH started the nurse residency program in 2015 with four newly graduated nurses. Since that time, those nurses have become valuable members of the nursing departments, filling vacancies in the Medical/Surgical department, Intensive Care Unit,  Surgical Services Department, and Emergency Department, as well as the resource pool.