Emergency Department

202 S. Park St.
Madison, WI 53715

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Nurse Residency Program

About Nurse Residency

UnityPoint Health – Meriter is proud to offer a twelve-month Nurse Residency Program for newly graduated nurses. The Nurse Residency Program is specifically designed to support the newly graduated nurse through the first year of practice. The program will help you gain the experience, skills and confidence needed to navigate the complexities of patient care.

The twelve sessions of the residency are scheduled once per month, for four hours per month. Cohorts begin every three months.

Nurse Residency FAQ

  • How do I apply to the Nurse Residency Program?

    • The short answer: You don't! 
    • The long answer:
      • Apply to the unit on which you'd like to work. 
      • If you are a newly graduated RN, you will AUTOMATICALLY be enrolled in this program. You don't need to do anything else. 
      • The Nurse Residency Program is IN ADDITION to your orientation shifts and classes and lasts for the first year of employment. 
      • We do not require that you sign anything to be a part of the Nurse Residency Program. 
  • How often does each cohort meet? 

    • Each cohort meets once per month for 12 months, 0800-1200. 
    • This is considered scheduled education and therefore subject to the attendance policy if class is skipped or missed due to illness/other. 
  • When do cohorts start?

    • Cohorts start every 3-4 months. This is subject to change.
      • For example, in 2022, cohorts start in March (December 2021, January and February 2022 hire months); June (March, April, May 2022 hire months); September (July and August 2022 hire months); and December (September, October, November 2022 hire months). 
      • We have orientation once per month for ALL RN NEW HIRES, including newly graduated RNs. You can start in whatever month makes the most sense for you, your new manager, and human resources. 
  • What does a typical session look like?

    • In general, a typical session is: 
      • Hour 1: Personal growth and development ("how to human") 
      • Hour 2: Clinical information 
      • Hour 3: Clinical information OR Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Project worktime 
      • Hour 4: Small group peer and mentor support 
  • What content is covered? 

    • Content will vary based on presenter availability and former cohort members' feedback. 
    • Currently, we discuss everything from vulnerability and resilience, to burnout and stress management, mindfulness and confidence building. 
    • Clinical information includes a peripheral intravenous (PIV) workshop, content from pharmacy, ethics, diversity/equity/inclusion (DEI), critical thinking, and more. 
    • The EBP project will be completed DURING CLASS. No work is to be done outside of class session times. 
    • Time is provided for small group peer and mentor support

The UnityPoint Health – Meriter Advantage

At Meriter, you will find a commitment to nursing excellence that will support you in becoming the nurse you aspire to be. The program includes: 

  • Evidence based structured educational experience to develop competence and confidence in nursing practice.
  • A supportive environment with small group discussion sessions and support, including a mentoring program with experienced bedside nurses. Clinical shadowing experiences to better appreciate the complete health care experiences of a patient, if desired.
  • Opportunity to understand the role of the nurse in the greater health care system and community through presentations and activities from experts around the organization.
  • Coordination by a Nursing Professional Development Specialist.
  • Nurse residents are hired directly onto the unit, not into the Nurse Residency Program, and no interviews are required for admission to the program.

Goals of Nurse Residency

  • Strengthen the newly graduated nurse's commitment to nursing as a profession, and to Meriter as an organization.
  • Promote the development of competencies and skills related to clinical judgment, communication, delegation and leadership, to enhance patient care at the bedside and to facilitate the incorporation of evidence-based practice into daily nursing care, to ensure positive patient outcomes.
  • Provide guidance, mentoring and peer support to newly graduated nurses. The RN Residency Program enhances Meriter's current nursing orientation process, through a comprehensive system approach that provides new nurses with education, training and support they need to progress from a novice to an advanced-beginner competency level.

How to Apply

The basic requirements for acceptance into the Nurse Residency Program at Meriter Hospital are:

  • Graduation from ADN or BSN nursing school program within 12 months of hire.

  • Accepted offer of employment as a newly graduated nurse at UnityPoint Health – Meriter.

  • Willingness to actively participate in all learning sessions and complete program-related activities which include but are not limited to clinical journaling, knowledge assessment and survey tool completion.

The Nurse Residency Program at UnityPoint Health Meriter is not an official position to which applicants apply. It is embedded within the orientation and post-orientation journey for all newly graduated, new hire RNs, and enrollment is automatic at the time of hire. Cohorts start every three months. Those interested in the Nurse Residency Program should apply for the position they'd like on the unit(s) they are interested working. More information on the application process can be found out UnityPoint Health - Meriter's Career Page