It’s been a year in the making, and the time has finally come. Today, HCA TriStar Division will welcome more than 100 new registered nurses (RNs) to its first-ever nurse residency program.  The inaugural 2017 class comprised of graduates from over 29 nursing programs in 11 different states (from as far as California and Vermont) will now support 10 specialty care areas as full-time nurses.

HCA Chief Nursing Executive Jane Englebright and Debianne Peterman, the vice president for clinical education and professional development for HCA TriStar Division, announced last July plans to prepare for the future of bedside care with a nurse residency program.

Now, HCA Nurse Residency Programs have launched across the enterprise, with one of the first implementations in the Nashville-based TriStar Division.

“We’ve made great strides to strengthen our clinical education by developing roles like Debianne’s that help us recruit, train and support the best and the brightest talent, particularly in bedside patient care,” said Dr. Englebright, who leads approximately 79,000 HCA-affiliated nurses. “We welcome our new nurses in the TriStar Division and look forward to them pursuing their passion, no matter what or where it is, within HCA.”

HCA nurses are a part of something bigger. Because of our size and scale, nurse input can improve care for patients not only in their unit and hospital but potentially across 170-affiliated facilities and industry-wide.

In fact, the TriStar Nurse Residency Program was created by our current nurses’ input on what they needed to support new graduates – we developed a preceptor development program based on their feedback – and listened to what new nursing graduates wanted as they begin their careers.

They talked, we listened.

Choosing a specialization in the first year was important to the nurse residency applicants. So, TriStar gave them the unique opportunity to select their top care area of interest, including behavioral health, critical care, medical-surgical, pediatrics and women’s services (labor & delivery; neonatal intensive care unit) – all of which are available, and more, throughout the Division.

“The TriStar Nurse Residency Program allows us to have a pipeline of nurses that are consistently coming into our organization, and that we can support during that critical first year as they transition from student to professional nurse,” Dr. Peterman said.

Eastside Medical Center, an HCA-TriStar affiliate in Northeast Atlanta, already has seen some success with its nurse residency program, which will eventually merge under the larger umbrella of the TriStar Nurse Residency Program. Last December, the Georgia hospital graduated 20 nurse residents, including Zoe Harris and Brad Morrison, both Lawrenceville, Ga., natives and nursing graduates from Georgia Gwinnett College, who share their experience below.

What were your initial thoughts before joining the nurse residency program?

Zoe Harris: I knew the nurse residency program was going to be amazing from the start. Staff members from the very first meeting were supportive and encouraging. They were even there to cheer for my classmates and me at our nursing pinning.

How was the nurse residency program in actuality? 

Brad Morrison: It was better than expected! I received so much hands-on learning as well as great classroom education.  Also, the nurses and doctors at Eastside Medical Center have been extremely helpful and willing to teach me as I progressed. 

What’s one thing you would tell incoming nurse residency students?

Zoe Harris: I would tell incoming students to not panic as I did about the poster project. As I said, the residency staff members are supportive and are always glad to help you throughout your research project.

Brad Morrison: I would tell them that there is so much to learn throughout this experience, so try not to get overwhelmed.  Also, don’t be too hard on yourself.  Progressing a little bit each day is still progression.

What was the highlight of your residency?        

Brad Morrison: The highlight of my residency was being able to scrub into a surgery, as well as working with the daVinci system! (Minimally invasive robotic technology used for surgeries – see blog.)

The HCA TriStar Nurse Residency Program is accepting applications through March 15, 2017, for its summer 2017 Cohort. Apply here today!