UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - West

2255 John F Kennedy Road
Dubuque, IA 52002

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Nurse Residency Program

UnityPoint Health - Finley Hospital is investing in new nurses by offering a Nurse Residency Program. New graduate RNs or RNs that are new to an acute hospital setting and starting their career at Finley Hospital are enrolled in the program. The Nurse Residency Program is designed to help new RNs successfully transition to professional practice in the acute care setting.

The Nurse Residency Program is a one-year program required of all new graduate RNs and RNs with less than one year of acute care nursing experience, which focuses on communication, professionalism, critical thinking, management of responsibilities, clinical knowledge and emotional intelligence. The program includes sessions with varying activities including guided reflections, simulation, case studies and scheduled time with a nurse mentor.


The Nurse Residency Program is available for nurses starting their careers at Finley Hospital. Interested individuals must apply for a position at Finley Hospital, but do not have to apply for entry into the Nurse Residency Program. Nurses meeting the criteria below will be enrolled into the Nurse Residency program within six months of hire. 

Candidates for the Nurse Residency Program must have graduated from an accredited nursing program with an Associate Degree in Nursing or a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. The candidate will have in his or her possession a nursing license allowing practice in the State of Iowa.


The Residency graduate will accomplish transition into professional practice delivering confident, safe, and comprehensive patient care based on critical thinking and socialization into the health care team as a fully functioning member.


The Residency graduate will:

  • Recognize key elements related to patient safety and outcomes directly impacted by the professional nurse.
  • Recognize and act upon key assessment and data elements using clinical knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  • Utilize communication techniques with patients, families and the health care team.

Residence Methodologies


Eight six-hour sessions are required within a one-year time frame. A variety of clinical education and health care experts from Finley Hospital will present topics relevant to the Nurse Residency goals and objectives. Active learning strategies and adult learning principles will be used to facilitate content delivery.

Reflective Learning

Reflective Learning is encouraged among nursing professionals and is an important aspect of professional growth and development in nursing. Residents will complete reflective journaling for each session that describes how the concept(s) presented can be applied to their individual practice. Prompts meant to stimulate growth in emotional intelligence and professionalism will be assigned. Journal reflections will be shared with their nurse mentor for further discussion.


Simulation is part of the Residency Program with a combination of active simulation and debriefings.