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LTC nurse retention aim of New Jersey program

January 22, 2014
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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With a turnover rate of nearly 40 percent for nurses in long-term care, Rutgers College of Nursing and School of Nursing is developing a yearlong nurse residency program for the New Jersey Action Coalition (NJAC). The program’s goal is that newly licensed nurses will choose to stay in the setting where they served their residency.  

While hospitals and other acute care settings have had nurse residency programs in place, long-term care was not included. This program is in response to the Institute of Medicine’s 2010, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health initiative.

“When new nurses are prepared to work in a specific practice environment and nurtured on the job through programs such as residencies, they are more likely to remain,” Edna Cadmus, PhD, RN, a clinical professor at the College of Nursing and co-leader of the project, said in a release.

By creating a stable nursing staff, the project hopes to improve care through retention, reduce hospital readmissions and decrease costs.

The nurse residency program is being developed as a statewide model to improve geriatric care. This spring, 50 nurses will be selected as residents for more than 30 months of training in the LTC sector.

“[L]ong-term care is a growing field where nurses can make an important difference in the lives of patients and their families,” notes Susan Salmond, EdD, RN, ANEF, FAAN,  dean of the Rutgers School of Nursing and project co-leader.