Good Shepherd introduces novice nurse residency program

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Released by the Good Shepherd Medical Center:

LONGVIEW, TX – Good Shepherd Medical Center introduces Novice Nurse Residency Program; an ideal program for nursing students interested in future employment at Good Shepherd.

The Novice Nurse Residency Program is a year-long residency for third-semester nursing students that offers an hourly compensation and preceptorship for completing university required clinical hours. This is a 450 hour residency program for the senior baccalaureate nursing student of The University of Texas at Tyler, Longview Campus. The program pairs the nursing student with an experienced preceptor to promote interpersonal relationships, develop clinical competencies and critical thinking and to manage a seamless transition from academia to professional nurse. While in this program, the nursing student will earn an hourly wage of $10 for precepted hours.

"The University of Texas at Tyler College of Nursing is excited about the collaborative opportunity that allows selected high achieving nursing students to obtain paid clinical experience," Deborah Crumpler, MSN, RN, CCRN Clinical Instructor at the Longview University Center Branch of UT Tyler, said. "UT Tyler faculty will maintain close working relationships with preceptors at the hospital, as well as student progress during clinical experiences. Faculty will have more freedom to develop innovative teaching strategies to meet the needs of today's students. It is a win-win situation which will potentially reduce the nation-wide faculty shortage as well as the projected nursing shortage."

The program consists of working two 12 hours shifts each week, plus any extra shifts they may choose to complete. Ideally, the nursing student will be paired with the same preceptor and work the same shift throughout the residency to ensure a solid learning relationship. This is a structured program that encompasses both a robust clinical outline and mastery of the university clinical objectives.

Students attending University of Texas at Tyler, Longview Campus, have been given the opportunity to apply for the Fall 2010 program. Applicants will be selected based on accumulative nursing GPA of 3.0 or better, a letter of intent and personal goals, and professional letters of recommendations. Good Shepherd will select 10 students to be accepted into the program with the plan to increase the number of residents accepted to the program for Spring 2011. The initial class of the Novice Nurse Residency Program will begin at Good Shepherd Medical Center in August 2010.

"We wanted to keep the class small since this is our first year," Jennifer Bray, BSN,RN, Clinical Education Liaison said. "This program has never been implemented in the state of Texas and we are excited to see how this affects the students' transition from student to professional nurse."

According to Bray, the East Texas area has a nursing shortage and combining mandatory clinical hours with an hourly wage will allow students to earn an income while going to school; thus reducing the stress of balancing family, school, and work.

"One of our objectives with this program is to encourage and promote nursing education using an innovative approach." Bray said. "By recruiting top-notch students, this program will bring educated and enthusiastic nurses to Good Shepherd."