New nurse gains confidence, refines patient-care skills

Missie and Landon Maria at Missie's nursing school graduation.For Missie Maria, RN, the journey to becoming a nurse wasn’t always easy.

“The hardest part of nursing school was being away from my family so much. My schedule didn’t leave a whole lot of time for my son and my husband,” said Maria, who also worked part-time at a pharmacy and as a healthcare technician at Carle.

At just the right time, she learned about just the right opportunity.

“As soon as I found out about Carle’s nurse residency program, I applied. I thought that with my good work history with Carle, my chances would be greater,” Maria said.

Carle invites new and soon-to-be nursing school graduates to an open house spotlighting the program from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. March 2 at The Forum at Carle, 611 W. Park Street. Those who attend can tour Carle and visit with nurses in the program, as well as learn more about enrolling in the nurse residency program. Register today for the free event that also features food and prizes.

Launched in 2011, the one-year program helps new nurses transition into full-time patient-care roles.

The support system of peers and mentors is key.

“You basically get your own nursing coach. You have someone to answer your questions, show you new techniques, and teach you about Carle’s policies,” Maria said, who graduated from the residency program in October and now works in the Clinical Decision Unit.

“It’s a huge relief to not feel alone.”

One of the most memorable things she learned during her residency is “taking the time to listen to patients, even if you are really busy. Sometimes a patient just needs someone to talk to.”

Transition to Practice Programs Manager Amber Nibling, MSN, RN-BC, likes that the program helps nurses like Maria build both their confidence and their skills.  

“It is an honor and privilege to aid in the growth and development of these new nurses,” Nibling said.

“Our goal is to make a difference in these new nurses’ lives and in the lives of the patients our organization serves.”