10/04/18

Nurse residency program receives national stamp of success

Carle Nurse Residency Program teamCarle’s Nurse Residency Program (CNRP) is now the second program in Illinois to receive American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) accreditation. Right behind Lurie’s Children Hospital in Chicago, Carle’s top honors show its commitment to the learning and orientation needs of new nurses.

One of the program’s biggest advocates, and just part of a bigger team that helped gain the accreditation, is Amber Nibling, MSN, RN-BC, Clinical Education and Transition to Practice Program manager.

“We were so excited when we got the call from the ANCC. We knew we had a great program, but hearing this confirmed, from an organization that sets the global standards for nursing, really showcases the energy and effort that our staff poured into this program every day,” Nibling said.

Team member Brian Barnes, Human Resources Nursing Acquisition lead, couldn’t agree more.

“This accreditation is a great acknowledgement of what we have known for several years – the CNRP leadership team has done and continues to do a fantastic job in preparing our newest nurses to not just be successful, but to thrive as they enter the healthcare workforce,” Barnes said.

“We understand how difficult a transition it is to being a new nurse, and the program exists to help mediate that. Academic life and bedside nursing are two very different things. The transition from nursing school to professional nursing is an intimidating transition. This program offers a lot of support and coaching,” Nibling said.

“Nothing is going to teach how to be a nurse other than being a nurse.”

What makes this program unique is the communication among all involved and its holistic approach toward each CNRP. Preceptors, unit leadership, unit educators and staff all heavily invest in each new nurse. Plus, the program has two clinical coaches. These clinical coaches function outside the preceptors, who provide day-to-day guidance. Clinical coaches provide additional support for skills, communication and life coaching.

“Participants can expect to receive frequent feedback and coaching that will make the transition less stressful and help to develop them into exceptional nurses,” Barnes said, adding Carle takes pride in having exceptional nurses who provide exceptional patient care.

Nurse residents are initially hired into a pool instead of specific departments. The program works with 15 medical/surgical units along with the OR, hospice and women and children’s units. The CNRP leadership team, in conjunction with unit leaders, looks at participants’ preferences and skills to ultimately fill available positions.

“Our program offers the flexibility to say, ‘OK, you don’t like that area. Then let’s find the place where you can be a good fit.’ This helps with retention, with getting it right the first time,” Nibling said.

“Nursing school is a great building block and foundation, and a residency program helps you put it all together.”

Over the last year and a half, the accreditation team worked diligently to meet ANCC standards. 

“New nurses should apply for the program because each CNRP is seen as an individual, with individual needs and paths. We come alongside them on this initial journey and help them find their best fit. They are cared for not only but the CNRP leadership team, but by each unit the program serves. This program would not be what it is without their commitment and buy in, and I think that what’s makes our program unique,” Nibling said.

If that’s not convincing enough, Barnes added, “You gain a strong sense of family from CNRP that sets Carle a part from other programs.”