LAKEWOOD - Lakewood Regional Medical Center, in an effort to address the nationwide nursing shortage, is offering an 18-week residency to prepare aspiring RNs for their first jobs.The Versant Residency Program was designed "by nurses for nurses," hospital officials said. "Lakewood is investing in its nursing staff to provide a higher standard of care for the community," said Jodi Hein, chief nursing officer at Lakewood Regional. "This program will increase our staff numbers and better prepare our nurses for the professional and emotional aspects of their careers." "The residency program not only benefits patients, but nurses, ancillary staff, administrators and physicians," she added. Students who enroll in the program will receive instruction on current and emerging clinical guidelines; personalized bedside training; debriefing sessions "that offer a forum for exchange among participants"; mentors who provide personal support and career development; and an online tool to monitor progress. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the number of people age 65 or older in 2008 represented 12.8 percent of the population. By 2030, that number is expected to reach 20 percent. Hospitals nationwide are preparing to recruit and train registered nurses to help care for the aging population. "I am excited that Lakewood Regional Medical Center and Tenet Healthcare have the foresight to invest in our future nurses," said Terri Newton, assistant chief nursing officer and program coordinator. "The program can only improve the quality of care that this hospital provides." Anyone interested in applying for the Versant Residency Program at Lakewood Regional should contact Human Resources at (562) 602-6725.
********** Published: February 12, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 43