Health Care

LGH starts nurse residency program

Among program's goals are better retention and lower turnover rates for its nurses.

Lafayette General Health is initiating its first Nurse Residency Program at Lafayette General Medical Center to help train graduate nurses entering their professional field, the health group announced in a press release Oct. 6.

This paid program is an addition to existing training practices to help new nurses drive their focus toward leadership, patient care and professional standards, the hospital group said.

The NRP is being implemented at LGMC based on the University Health System Consortium and American Association of Colleges of Nursing Nurse Residency Program. The UHC/AACN program has provided health care organizations with a transition-to-practice program for new graduate nurses since 2002. Academic partners on board with the Lafayette General program include UL Lafayette, LSU at Eunice and South Louisiana Community College nursing schools.

LGMC’s first group will start in spring 2016 on inpatient units at LGMC and its Southwest campus on Ambassador Caffery Parkway. Once the program earns UHC/AACN accreditation, LGH will have the first and only accredited NRP in Louisiana. At that time, LGH plans to expand the residency program to other hospitals in its system, such as University Hospital & Clinics or Acadia General Hospital in Crowley.

The basis of the program is to implement evidence-based practices to ease nurses from the classroom setting and acclimate them to the real-world medical field to promote quality, safety and reduce turnover rates.

“What this program will do is help them transition from a novice nurse to a professional nurse,” says Crystal Decuir, the Nurse Resident Program manager for LGH.

The program is open to all graduating nurses (or any nurse with less than one year of experience in an acute-care setting) hired by LGH with licensing from an accredited school. There will be two groups launched per year, with the first group starting in March and the second in August. The program takes one year to complete.

With the NRP in place, LGMC expects to enjoy better retention and lower turnover rates for its nurses. Under the UHC/AACN curriculum in other states, turnover was reduced from 27 percent to 5.4 percent.

The estimated cost of turnover is $88,000 per nurse, and for every 1 percent increase in turnover, the estimated institutional cost is $300,000.

LGH hopes a mandatory two-year commitment to LGH after the program, and opportunities across the system, will encourage these nurses to stay with LGH long-term.

“This course aims to teach leadership, quality outcomes and professional role development. That’s the core of the curriculum,” says Decuir.

LGH says patients will get better-trained nurses resulting in improved patient outcomes.

For more information about the residency program, contact Gretchen Milligan, recruiter and retention coordinator, at (337) 289-8467 or click here.