Iowa Specialty Hospital

Several ISH Nurses Graduate from U of I Nurse Residency Program

April 6, 2021

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Approximately eighteen months ago, Iowa Specialty Hospital partnered with the University of Iowa to offer a blended nurse residency program. The purpose of a Nurse Residency program is to ease the transition of the novice nurse into a competency professional practice. Based on best practices and the latest research, the nurse residency’s curriculum addresses competencies that are underdeveloped in new nurse graduates.  

Each nurse that is part of the program attends the yearlong program and completes on-line modules, meets with their cohort monthly and after six months begins to develop an evidence-based quality project that will improve patient outcomes and/or the work flow of healthcare.  “On March 25th, we celebrated 6 Nurses who graduated from the program and presented their projects to a team of peers and leaders,” stated Christina Peterson, Director of Nursing.
 “This was our first year to offer a Nurse Residency and we did it during a worldwide pandemic,” continued Peterson.  “Our hats are off to Vanessa Smith for all of her hard work and leadership on this project.”   This first cohort was made up of nurses from OB and Med Surg. The following nurses completed the program and presented the following projects: 

  • Kari Herzberg (OB) presented and implemented in OB a post partem hemorrhage cart. 
  • Jessica Johnson and Brooke Mensing (OB) worked together to develop standardized post-partum discharge instructions for OB patients.  
  • Tia Metz (OB) presented a project on safe medication administration in OB. 
  • Sarah Taylor-Spellmeyer (Med Surg) presented her project on the benefits of early ambulation in post-surgical ortho patients. 
  • Josh Dent (Med Surg) presented on how to reduce post ortho surgery catheters.  
  • Erica Meinke (Med Surg) will be presenting her project later this month.  

Peterson went on to say, “Vanessa Smith, Clinical Resource Educator, leads the program.  She meets monthly with the team and leads discussions based on the modules from the previous month and brings different experiences/ situations for the nurses to talk through and grow in their practice.  Leading this team through a world-wide pandemic that directly impacted healthcare and nurses was not an easy feat.  Vanessa and team had to quickly adapt to having Zoom meetings, daily changing workflows and so much more.  Vanessa continued to be a resource for the team.  This group blazed the trail for future ISH nurses in our nurse residency program. I am extremely proud of all the hard work they put into this program and excited to see improved patient outcomes because of their projects.”

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