The  Department of Small Business Services next month will launch the country’s first city-led nurse residency program at 24 hospitals, including all 11 of the city’s public hospitals, in order to address retention issues, the de Blasio administration announced Dec. 17.

Five hundred newly-hired nurses will receive the year-long training, which has had proven results in increasing retention at other medical institutions. About 93 percent of newly-graduated nurses who participated in the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program stayed on the job, compared to the national average, which is 82 percent.

Turnover is Costly

Despite those results, the cash-strapped public hospital system hasn’t been able to afford to offer on-the-job training, the de Blasio administration said. Last year, NYC Health + Hospitals hired 420 newly-graduated nurses but lost about 16 percent of them within their first year, according to the agency. Losing one nurse can cost up to $100,000, according to the hospitals.

SBS has moved $300,000 into the program, which is being offered in partnership with the Greater New York Hospital Association, NYU Langone Health and New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“A lot of nurses burn out quickly in the first year or so,” SBS Commissioner Gregg Bishop said. “Some survive and some don’t. A residency allows hospitals to ease in talent. It’s a softer landing.”

The de Blasio administration also believes that the program will help serve as a pipeline to jobs.

“It’s really about workforce creation, so that’s where we come in,” Mr. Bishop said.

What They’ll Learn

H+H’s Interim Chief Nursing Officer MaryAnn Marra said that the initiative will teach nurses ethics, how to work in a team and communication skills in order to promote job retention.

“Research on residency programs shows that nurse satisfaction is improved,” she said during a phone interview. “It’s a great opportunity for us to be able to offer this to our nurses. They have a highly complex role, with a lot of responsibility, and this program will support them better during the transition from being students to working on the job.”

The residencies will be offered at several private institutions as well, including Brookdale University Hospital and five Mount Sinai locations across the city.

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