The Impact of Nurse Residency Programs on New-Nurse Retention: A Case Study from NYC Health + Hospitals
Revolutionizing Nurse Retention: The NYC Health + Hospitals Approach
As healthcare organizations grapple with nurse retention challenges, NYC Health + Hospitals has pioneered an innovative solution. Under the leadership of Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, the system has rolled out the first city-led nurse residency program in the U.S., leading to a significant increase in new-nurse retention. The program, which spans across 11 hospitals and other healthcare sites, offers specialized training, education, and mentoring services to all new hires.
The success of this program is no small feat. It has not only led to a doubling of new-nurse retention from 46% to a staggering 91.8%, but it has also expanded to six times its original size, extending its reach to primary care, post-acute, and correctional health sites. The program has enrolled 1,733 employees across 35 cohorts and trained over 5,000 nurses citywide, making a substantial impact on New York City’s healthcare landscape.
The Four Pillars of Success: Structure, Leadership, Buy-in, and Psychological Safety
The program’s remarkable success can be attributed to four main factors: structure, leadership engagement, buy-in from new nurses, and the establishment of a culture of psychological safety. The program was developed in partnership with Vizient, a healthcare performance improvement company, ensuring a sound and proven structure.
Leadership engagement and buy-in from new nurses have also been integral to the program’s success. The top-tier leadership team understands the value and importance of such a program in enhancing nurse skills and improving patient outcomes. This understanding, coupled with the commitment and enthusiasm of the new nurses, has led to a culture of learning, growth, and mutual support.
Additionally, the program has fostered a culture of psychological safety, allowing nurses to express their concerns, ideas, and mistakes without fear of retribution. This environment has been crucial in encouraging open communication, learning, and continuous improvement, thereby contributing to the program’s success.
Nurse Residency Programs: A Broader Trend in Healthcare
The accomplishments of NYC Health + Hospitals’ nurse residency program mirror a broader trend in healthcare, where such programs are increasingly seen as a vital strategy for retaining new nurses and reducing turnover costs. Other healthcare organizations have also implemented successful retention strategies. For instance, Palomar Health offered $100,000 bonuses to clinicians and new hires, reducing their reliance on travel nurses. El Camino Health and Jersey Community Hospital launched professional development and apprentice programs, respectively, leading to significant reductions in their turnover rates.
The Impact of Teaching Approaches on Nurse Retention
The Block Model (TBM) teaching approach, implemented in nursing and midwifery education, has also demonstrated positive outcomes. It has led to improvements in student engagement, retention rates, pass rates, and graduate outcomes, including an increase in full-time employment. The success of such teaching models and residency programs underscores the importance of structured learning and professional development in nurse retention.
Looking Forward: The Future of Nurse Retention
As the healthcare industry continues to grapple with nurse retention challenges, the success of NYC Health + Hospitals’ nurse residency program offers a beacon of hope. The program’s success has demonstrated that with the right structure, leadership engagement, buy-in from new nurses, and a culture of psychological safety, it is possible to significantly improve nurse retention rates, reduce turnover costs, and enhance patient outcomes. As we look towards the future, such programs will continue to play a vital role in addressing industry-wide healthcare challenges and shaping the future of the nursing profession.