Hospital Celebrates Nurse Residency Program

SMH Nurse Residency Program Graduates:   Hanneah Puckett, RN; Shelby Baumgartner, RN; Sarah McDonald, RN; Katie Shellenberger, Lauren Alden, RN; Amanda Franke, RN; and Jennie Way, RN. (Courtesy photo)
SMH Nurse Residency Program Graduates: Hanneah Puckett, RN; Shelby Baumgartner, RN; Sarah McDonald, RN; Katie Shellenberger, Lauren Alden, RN; Amanda Franke, RN; and Jennie Way, RN. (Courtesy photo)

Sheridan Memorial Hospital (SMH) celebrated on Thursday, January 10, when seven new registered nurses successfully completed the hospital’s six-month Nurse Residency Program.

Present for the celebration and in recognition of the resident’s achievements were the graduates, family members, Hospital Leadership, nurse preceptors, and staff from throughout the hospital. This is the sixth cohort to graduate from this sought after and unique program designed to support the transition of new RNs to the practice environment. Key areas of focus in this program are not only clinical competencies necessary to care for patients and families, but the confidence needed to translate their learning and knowledge into clinical practice. This type of program has been shown nationally and here at SMH to significantly increase satisfaction in the nurses’ transition to practice, as well as help reduce new graduate nurse turnover.

In 2017, the SMH program achieved Accreditation with Distinction from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). SMH is the 1st hospital a rural area and the 14th in the nation to receive the accreditation. This group of nurses is the second cohort to go through the program with this accreditation.
Those graduating included: Lauren Alden, RN; Shelby Baumgartner, RN; Amanda Franke, RN; Sarah McDonald, RN; Hanneah Puckett, RN; Katie Shellenberger, RN; and Jennie Way, RN. This group was selected from a large number of applicants. Each participant is granted the opportunity to work one-on-one with an experienced nurse preceptor. They complete additional specialized training using a systems based approach to reinforce their education with real world hands-on nursing. They are also scheduled to work in departments across the hospital from housekeeping and nutritional services to pharmacy, allowing them to see and understand the impact each department has on the patient experience.

According to Chief Nurse Officer Barb Hespen A recent Gallup Poll shows how Americans rated the honesty and ethics of various professions annually; it’s no surprise to me that the Nursing profession has appeared at the top of this list for the last fifteen years. Many times it is the nurse who patients and families remember—their kind, and sincere qualities, and the way the patient is kept at the center of their work. Through this Residency Program, Sheridan Memorial Hospital has made a tremendous investment in its people and the community. If our Nurse Residents are successful, then we are successful. They are the future of our hospital helping to ensure excellent, patient-centered care. We are all extremely proud of this 2018 group of graduates.”

Hospital Clinical Educator Tammy Aksamit, RN, and Director of Nursing Lacey Johnson, congratulated the cohort and welcomed guests. Tammy expressed the hospital’s excitement about welcoming the new nurses, “Working with this group has been such a privilege for the education staff and preceptors. As educators, we work hard to provide these RN’s with the skills they will need to be successful every day at the bedside. There is an incredible amount of hands-on learning once a new nurse begins her career. This program helps them establish best practices and the confidence necessary to be successful. We thank the Hospital’s Leadership and Board of Trustees, along with all involved, for their support to make a program such as this possible.”

Graduate Sarah McDonald, RN, thanked the hospital on behalf of the group, “Our preceptors have been our teachers, our allies, and our support system. They helped us carry the weight and now we are prepared and ready to transition as critical thinkers and compassionate new nurses. Thank you.”

The Nurse Residency Program accepts applications annually. For additional information about this program and nursing careers at Sheridan Memorial Hospital, please contact Hospital Recruiter Amber Guinotte at 307.673.4296.

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