Empowering Success: Sidney Health Center's Nurse Residency Program In Action

Sidney, MT (Dec. 8) - In the dynamic realm of nursing, the journey from graduation to professional practice can be both exhilarating and daunting. Newly licensed registered nurses, Halley Henry, Malisa Reed, and Ande Turner, recently completed Phase One of the Nurse Residency Program at Sidney Health Center.

The initial nine-week portion of the program's onboarding process provided a solid foundation, a diverse range of experiences, and a nurturing environment aimed at fostering their growth as competent healthcare professionals.

Upon completing the introduction week, these nurses delved into intensive two-week rotations across key departments including Med/Surg, CCU/ER, Surgery, and OB. Paired with trained mentors in each department, Halley, Malisa, and Ande embarked on a journey of hands-on learning, gaining insights into specialized areas of nursing.

The program's gradual release design is proving to be instrumental in building their confidence and skills. It offers a panoramic view of the healthcare facility, cultivating a cohesive working environment while allowing these nurses to navigate and understand the intricacies of each nursing domain.

"Exploring different departments has strengthened our nursing skills by giving us insight into their procedures and needs. Understanding the processes from Surgery to Med/Surg or pre-surgery preparations equips us to better inform patients," exclaimed Malissa. "This program broadens our nursing skills and provides a supportive community for new nurses like myself."

Guiding this transformative experience is Danielle Seitz, who is a Registered Nurse and the program's facilitator. Through the three-phase onboarding process, Danielle serves as a liaison for these individuals. Her ongoing check-ins and unwavering support throughout the program's duration ensure that nurses feel empowered to identify their unique niches within the organization.

"When approached to lead this project, I was a little overwhelmed by its scale, but the alarming statistics drove my determination to make this rural healthcare program a success," stated Danielle as statistics indicate that between 17-30% of first-year nurses leave their jobs. "Working closely with newly licensed nurses has been a mutual learning experience. Our platform enables open discussions about both successes and challenges, allowing immediate guidance and reinforcing skills to handle future situations gracefully."

"Like Malisa mentioned, collaborating with various departments broadens our perspective," Halley agreed. "However, having Danielle as our dedicated contact through this program offers us a reliable support system. Whether we encounter challenges, need advice, or seek a sounding board for ideas, knowing we have her support is invaluable."

The stories of Halley, Malisa, and Ande reflect the program's transformative impact, not just in honing technical skills but also in fostering a sense of belonging and purpose within the healthcare community. Their journey underscores the importance of tailored support and comprehensive training in empowering nurses to thrive in the multifaceted landscape of healthcare.

"I am so excited to offer this program to new nurses, who are anxious to put their skills to work. With so many service lines to choose from, it is often an eye-opening experience," explained Pam McGlothlin, Nursing Services Senior Executive. "Through this onboarding process, they get a sense of what area they want to dedicate their time and talents to and we are open to training them in specialty areas like surgery, labor and delivery, ICU or cancer care."

McGlothlin also points out, "The advantage of working at a critical access hospital, like Sidney Health Center, is that nurses can grow in their profession at an accelerated rate. Moreover, they often become a jack of all trades and a valued member of the team. The nurse residency program really jumpstarts their nursing career in a safe learning environment."

By implementing innovative programs like this, Sidney Health Center is committed to shaping the future for nursing roles in rural healthcare settings. For more information about job opportunities at Sidney Health Center, visit the organization's website at sidneyhealth.org.


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