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New Nurse Residency Program at Baystate Medical Center

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — For the first time in years, new nurses aren’t just falling into jobs after school. But a new nurse residency program at Baystate Medical Center will help some get their foot in the door.

“I think the more you see the results of healthcare reform and the changes, what it’s going to do is probably demand more nurses,” said Patricia Samra, Director of Clinical Workforce Planning at baystate medical Center. “But probably outside of the hospital setting.”

Samra said because of healthcare reform, the trend now is toward more nursing jobs in home-based care. The difficulty is that those nurses need to be experienced because they don’t have a nurse or doctor just down the hall to ask for help.

“And that’s where we’re really looking to the residency program so that we can take a new graduate, bring them into the hospital for a year, give them a very broad experience across the whole organization,” said Samra. “But that their end goal may be that they go right into home care post-residency.”

A federal grant will help pay for starting up the nursing residency program. Baystate’s share has yet to be determined. But Samra said whatever it ends up being, training the nurses to be successful is an investment.

“The turnover for new graduates in hospitals can be upwards of 25 %,” said Samra. “So, it’s a really gamble when you take a new nurse on board. And if you’re not successful getting them through their first year, it’s expensive.”

Baystate Medical Center expects to have six to ten nurse residents in the first year of the program which is slated to begin in the fall.

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