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LTC Nurse Residency Results in 86% Retention Rate

By Jennifer Thew RN  
   September 05, 2017

Post-acute care has become an essential component of value-based care. By preparing new nurses through a long-term care residency program, facilities can improve nurse retention, confidence, and competency.

Accountable care organizations, value-based care, and new reimbursement models are changing the healthcare landscape, and with that the role of the post-acute care nurse is evolving as well.

"It's important that [patients] don't go back to the hospital. So these nurses have to have a different skill level than, maybe, what people perceived long-term care as previously," says Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, clinical professor at Rutgers University School of Nursing.

There are few structured programs, however, to help newly licensed RNs develop the expertise needed to successfully transition to practice in post-acute care.

To address this issue, the New Jersey Action Coalition, is focused on implementing the Institute of Medicine's (now the National Academy of Medicine) Future of Nursing recommendations. It is one of 51 groups doing this work across the country.

Cadmus is co-lead of the coalition, which falls under the umbrella of Campaign for Action partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the AARP.

"We felt there were acute care nurse residency programs in many hospitals, but for post-acute settings and, specifically, long-term care, there had been no evidence of any residency programs out there," she says.

"And we knew that there was a high turnover rate of nurses in long-term care facilities."

Turnover among RNs in long-term care facilities nationally was 50% and retention was almost 67%.  After the New Jersey LTC residency program, the retention rate of participants was 86%.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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