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Emergency Nurses Association Unveils New Residency Program

Analysis  |  By Carol Davis  
   April 21, 2022

Initiative provides new nurses the tools and support they need to be successful, ENA president says.

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) has launched a new initiative—the Emergency Nurse Residency Program—focused on preparing new nurses for the emergency department (ED), while helping hospitals retain those nurses.

The new residency program develops critical-thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills of a new graduate nurse or a new-to-the-ED nurse before they practice independently, according to ENA.

It supplies dedicated time with nurse educators and clinical preceptors to create an immersive experience to prepare a nurse to provide care to ED patients.

ENA, which piloted the 18-week program at 10 hospitals in 2021, has reached agreements with several hospitals to bring the program into their EDs.

"The first few months in the ED are crucial for any nurse, but too often staffing demands mean a new nurse is thrown into the mix without all the tools and support they need to be successful," said Jennifer Schmitz, MSN, EMT-P, CEN, CPEN, CNML, FNP-C, NE-BC, president of ENA.

The new residency program is a "holistic approach to preparing ED nurses from day one, putting them on a path to be empowered clinicians who trust their skills and confidently deliver high-quality care," she said.

With newly licensed RN turnover rates ranging between 17% and 30% their first year, and 30% to 57% by their second year, according to different studies, a properly implemented nurse residency program can increase retention of new graduate nurses by reducing burnout and acclimating them to the sociocultural environment.

"Staff turnover has clear financial costs, and there is a significant time investment required to fill vacant positions," Schmitz said. "ENA's new residency program represents an opportunity for hospitals to invest in their future by giving new nurses a robust and comprehensive integration into the ED."

“Too often … a new nurse is thrown into the mix without all the tools and support they need to be successful.”

Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


18-week residency program prepares new nurses for the emergency department.

The new program provides dedicated time with educators and clinical preceptors.

An effective residency program can increase nurse retention.

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