JOPLIN, Mo – Nurses are the backbone of a hospital’s operations and are always needed. Freeman Health System has more than 1,000 nurses on staff. New hires often come from universities, graduating from both associate and bachelor level degree programs. Those who have not practiced as an RN in direct patient care become part of the Freeman RN Residency program.
“The RN Residency Program provides an opportunity to bridge the gaps between educational preparation and a professional role within Freeman Health System,” says Freeman Health System Clinical Student Specialist, Kassie Acuff, RN. “The RN Residency Program aims to provide consistent information regarding procedures, standards, expectations and documentation to support practice and to familiarize graduate nurses with Freeman Health System’s vision, mission, values, goals and organizational structure.”
Eight nurses are in the current RN Residency graduating class. They are Mali Vang, Yacenia Regis, Patrick Humphries, Emily Murphy, Olivia Reeves, Jim Wetzstein, Joey Fisher and Jeremiah Schisler. Newly hired nurses get support from peers through different learning approaches. In addition to preparing nurses for their roles within the health system, the program also serves as a retention tool for the hospital.
“It allows you to practice your skills,” says Olivia Reeves. “Being in the program helps your comfort level and confidence,” says Mali Vang.
“RN Residents are hired prior to beginning the RN Residency Program. This educational program is proving to be a platform for success within RNs’ first year. The program focuses on three foundational pillars – patient outcomes, professional roles and leadership,” says Acuff.
The RN Residency program also encompasses the National Academy of Medicine’s core competencies, which are providing patient-centered care, working in interdisciplinary teams, employing evidence-based practices, applying quality improvement and utilizing informatics.
The RN Residency Research Day and Graduation, Friday, January 24, was an opportunity for all RN Residents to showcase a quality improvement project, along with their hard work and dedication to patient safety and quality care. Graduation guests visited the student’s project boards and voted for which one would receive an award. The winning project was prepared by Yacenia Regis who works in orthopaedics/neurology and Jeremiah Schisler who works on the general surgery unit.