Open Accessibility Menu

Spotlight On: Valley Health's Nurse Residency Program

  • Category: Careers
  • Posted On:
Spotlight On: Valley Health's Nurse Residency Program

Starting a nursing career can be daunting. But at Valley Health, we believe that no new nurse should have to face their first year alone. That's why we offer the Nurse Residency Program, a comprehensive support system designed to help recent nursing graduates thrive in their early careers.

The program is run by Kristin Klutz, MSN (master’s in nursing), a mother-baby nurse of 10 years. Beyond the dedicated support Kristin Klutz provides, there is a network of mentors and facilitators from various nursing backgrounds available for support. These facilitators are there to guide and mentor the new nurses, typically overseeing a small cohort of participants. We utilize the Vizient/American Association of Colleges of Nursing Nurse Residency Program™ (NRP), a one of a first of its kind program that’s been helping new nurses transition into their clinical roles for over 20 years.

"Valley Health implemented the Nurse Residency Program to support new grad nurses over the first year of their work experience,” Kristin says. “It's a paid program that meets once a month for a year where nurses have the opportunity to not only ask questions that they may not feel comfortable asking on their units, but it also fosters a sense of community amongst the nurses who are all going through the same transition into their careers together."

New nurses at Valley Health begin their journey with nursing orientation and preceptorship. During this period, they immerse themselves in the fundamentals of nursing and work alongside experienced mentors. Simultaneously, they're automatically enrolled in the Nurse Residency Program, which runs parallel to their orientation and continues throughout their first year. This dual approach ensures that new nurses have a safety net as they transition into their roles independently.

Throughout the 12-month program, which meets once a month, content experts provide participants insights on various nursing topics. This multifaceted approach ensures that the nurses receive comprehensive guidance and support from various sources within Valley Health.

A person with curly hair wearing a suit jacket and black shirt

Description automatically generated“The Nurse Residency Program helped me understand the services the hospital has to serve my patients best. It also helped me to see that I'm not alone in getting the hang of being a nurse. My favorite part is the people I work with; they truly lend a hand and are always there to help lighten my mood." - CeCe

Valley Health recognizes that nursing isn't one-size-fits-all. The experiences of nurses can vary greatly depending on their units. As Kristin Klutz explains, "Depending on where you will be working as a nurse, your skills are going to be completely different. An ED (Emergency Department) nurse will have different questions and challenges than a nurse working in Behavioral Health or Oncology would."

Whether you're in an inpatient setting, a procedural area, or a specialized role, the Nurse Residency Program adapts to your unique needs. It's a flexible program designed to support all nursing specialties. All new nurses are eligible for the program. Nurses may still be eligible even if they have some prior nursing experience (up to six months). The program's flexibility ensures that it caters to nurses at different stages of their careers.

A person in a blue shirt

Description automatically generated“The Nurse Residency Program (NRP) has been an essential resource to me thus far. When I first started as a new grad, I felt overwhelmed. I was grateful to have other new grads to talk with who felt similarly. The amount of support we give each other keeps us going during uncertain times. I also appreciate that Kristin has made it very clear that she is always here for us. She is very easy to talk with, and I could not imagine a better program lead for the NRP.

One thing from the NRP I did not expect to learn is that even being a new grad, our voices, and opinions matter. We are encouraged to speak up, voice our opinions, and do research to help improve our workplace and the outcomes for our patients.” - Jenna

This program is about nurturing nursing talent and ensuring that new graduates have the support and guidance they need during their crucial first year in the field. It offers professional development, supports and guides nurses as they advance in their careers, potentially into leadership roles both clinical and non-clinical, depending on what direction they’d like to go.

Whether you're a recent graduate or an experienced Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) seeking to become an Registered Nurse (RN), Valley Health welcomes you to be a part of its thriving nursing community.

Join us on the path to nursing excellence – your journey begins here. Click to search for your next opportunity.