There is an ongoing nursing shortage across the country, which has a direct impact on patient care and the ability to obtain needed care. Compounding this problem is the number of new graduate nurses leaving the profession after only a short time. There has been a 24.1 percent turnover within the population of new graduate nurses with less than one year of experience (Nursing Solutions, Inc., 2021).
Along with the general nursing shortage, we must consider the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on staffing, patient acuity and overall well-being of staff. How can organizations invest in their staff by committing to help nurture moral courage and diminish the effects of moral distress? How do new graduate nurses acquire the skills to communicate with their nursing peers, along with their physician colleagues? One example of how we support new nurses at Swedish is our residency program and nursing transition-to-practice classes.
Nursing transition-to-practice education
The transition-to-practice classes encourage self-empowerment, moral courage, peer-to-peer interaction and building resiliency within a nursing practice. Residents who have been working independently and are approximately seven months from the beginning of their residency are invited to participate. Class members are encouraged to share their experiences from their independent practice. Topics include:
- Improving collegial communication to stave off misunderstanding or ill-will within a unit
- Impacts of COVID-19 on nursing
- Prioritizing self-care and self-promotion during all aspects of interventions
- Using up-to-date coping skills and resources within the organization for support during difficult periods of life
- Learning from other Resident RNs, who contribute their personal experiences as well as their thoughts and ideas
Our Swedish RN Residency Program helps hundreds of Swedish nurses feel more resilient and confident in the workplace each year. In 2021, the program supported the transition to practice for 301 newly graduated RNs and 157 RN Fellows learning a new specialty.
Guest blog by Melinda Furrer, DNP, RN, CENP and Elisabeth Walton, MN, RN, NPD-BC, RNC-MNN