Congrats to AAMC’s newest Nurse Residency graduates!

Congrats to AAMC’s newest Nurse Residency graduates!

(Pictured above from left: Katelyn Taylor (Oncology), Ramona Crone (HVU), Taylor Webb (HVU), Maureen Bertuna (ONC), Katie Simpkins (HVU), Nouran Zaharna (MSU), Jessica Wenck (ONC), Jillian Chaney (ONC), Ali Zentgraf (ONC), Christa White (NICU), Melissa Gilmore (4 MED), Kristina Holloway (ED), Kaitlynn Ford (JSC), Hayley Cramblitt (GSU), Jamie Clendenin (4 MED), Nicole Albani (4 MED), Megan Quinn (ICU), Chelsea Nicholas (NCU), Melissa Wood (MSU). Not Pictured Dawn Harris-Hulett (ESP OR) and Lana Thompson (ED))

On July 13, 2017, in a room packed full of nurse graduates, their families and friends, directors, educators, charge nurses, mentors, and preceptors, AAMC celebrated its most recent group of Nurse Residency grads. These 21 nurses started their journey in July 2016, meeting once a month for nearly a year as they learned about effective delegation, communication, time management, documentation standards, stress management, emergency/code management, evidence-based practice, professional development, quality improvement, patient safety, and much more.

The graduation celebration kicked off with congratulations from CNO, Barbara Jacobs, MSN, RN, followed by remarks from the Senior Director of Women’s & Children, Betsy Snow, MSN, RN. Then the graduates were each recognized by their unit, with stories and kind words shared, along with a gift.

Jillian Chaney, RN, gave a crowd pleasing speech about what the residency meant to her and her fellow colleagues:

This time last year the group before you was celebrating the two letters we all worked so hard to earn – RN. Throughout the celebrations we all know the hard work was just beginning with our first year of nursing – a notoriously challenging year. From our first days starting at AAMC we knew we would get through this year thanks to the Nurse Residency Program. The first component started on our units – we were warmly greeted by our new co-workers (or for some of us who worked as techs – our same co-workers greeting us in a new role!) and preceptors. For those of you who are familiar with Star Wars, our preceptors are like Obi Wan Kenobi – wise, experienced with the force (a.k.a. the art of being a nurse) and we are young Luke Skywalker – eager to learn, full of potential, ready to be a Jedi. They helped to sharpen our critical thinking, work on our skills, and ensure we have every opportunity to learn. They are exemplary nurses who continue to inspire us in our daily practice.

The second component of the Nurse Residency was our monthly meeting. On the second Thursday of every month we all came together for four hours – some meetings revolved around reinforcing our education and teaching us new knowledge through case studies and simulations. We had to opportunity to develop evidence based projects relevant to our unit, something we can continue in our practice to ensure we are doing the best for our patients based on evidence. Other times taught us about different services offered by the hospital and how many resources we have at our fingertips to ensure our patients are getting the best care. One favorite portion of these meetings was the “Tales from the Bedside,” a time where we broke into intimate groups and shared our experiences with an experienced nurse. These nurses listened to our frustrations, woes, and triumphs. They provided a listening ear and help us learn that despite the fact we all meet challenges we still managed to work through them and learn in the process. The last meeting we had enforced the importance of stress management and taught some of us that yoga wasn’t our thing.

The last component of the program involved one-on-one time with a mentor, an individual we were paired with at the beginning of our residency. These individuals are experienced nurses who provided great insight on our profession. We got to spend time with them every month to discuss our experiences one on one. Our mentors often reached out weekly to see how we were doing and offer encouraging words. These individuals quickly became more then mentors, but also friends.

Throughout this first year we have all met challenges and grown in our profession. We are so thankful to work at an institution that ensures new graduate nurses are successful. We all share the sentiment that we are grateful to the support and time from everyone involved our directors, educators, preceptors, mentors, charge nurses – and a special thank you to Racquel who has been our fearless leader this year. Thank you.  

Congrats to all of the graduates— May you flourish into the nurses you always dreamed you’d be! And continue to make AAMC proud!

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