Transitioning New Nurses into Practice

The Nurse Residency Program at UChicago Medicine is an accredited 12-month program designed to support new graduate nurses in the transition from professional student to professional nurse during the nurse’s first year of practice.

Our program is based on Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert theory, which has new nurses entering their practice as an advanced beginner and progressing to a competent professional in the clinical environment.

Throughout the course of the program, our newest nurses learn skills that allow them to be successful in their new roles.

Program Objectives:

  • Transition from advanced beginner to competent professional in the clinical environment
  • Develop critical thinking skills related to clinical judgment and performance
  • Provide clinical nursing leadership at the point of care
  • Strengthen commitment to the nursing profession
  • Formulate an individual professional development plan Incorporate research-based evidence linked to outcomes in practice
  • Clinical practice in an environment with a commitment to learning
  • Structures educational experiences designed to develop competence in clinical practice
  • Participation in a supportive cohort that allows for professional growth through a nurturing network of fellow nurses
  • Special emphasis on developing humanistic nursing practice

Curriculum Content:

  • Patient care delivery and resource management
  • Evidence-based practice Introduction to quality improvements in nursing
  • Communication between nurse, care team and physician
  • Professional development
  • Management of the changing patient condition
  • Conflict resolution
  • Organization of data/shift report
  • Patient/family teaching
  • Ethical decision making
  • End-of-life care
  • Skin and wound care
  • Cultural competence
  • Fall prevention
  • Medication administration Infection prevention

Program Eligibility:

  • Graduated from an Accredited Nursing Program
  • Worked for six months or less as a Licensed Registered Nurse
  • Commit to the one-year residency requirements and participate in all associated events

Highlights of the program include:

  • Peer support
  • Collaboration with nurse leaders
  • Application of evidence-based research into your own practice

Evidenced-based Practice Project (EBPP)

As part of the Nurse Residency Program, all residents are required to complete an evidence-based practice project (EBPP). Residents work together as a small group on an agreed upon topic with a Clinical Nurse Specialist to guide them through the process. The projects are presented at the completion ceremony and can be submitted as poster or podium presentations at the Vizient Nurse Resident Program Annual Meeting.

For more information about the Nurse Residency Program, please contact the Center for Clinical Professional Practice:

Nursing Residency Program Leaders

Margaret DeKoning, MSN, NE-BC, NPD-BC
Manager, Nursing Education

Vanessa Leano, MSN, RN
Nurse Residency Program Facilitator

Jilleen Gilmartin, BSN, RN, PCCN
Nurse Residency Program Facilitator