Nursing Professional Development Opportunities
The Department of Nursing at Eisenhower Health offers a Professional Registered Nurse Clinical Ladder Program; a voluntary program with oversight provided by the Nursing Professional Development Council. It exists to recognize the expertise of nurses who make a difference at the bedside, and provide clinical leadership in their department and the institution, as well as on regional and/or national levels.
Professional Registered Nurse Clinical Ladder Program
Eisenhower Health offers a Professional Registered Nurse Clinical Ladder Program has four distinct components and is criteria based with measured outcomes:
- Transformational Leadership (Leadership),
- Exemplary Professional Practice (Clinical Practice),
- Structural Empowerment (Professional Development), and
- New Knowledge, Innovations & Improvement (Research / Evidence Based Practice).
Portfolio submission occurs every 2 years in even years.
Graduate Nurse Residency Program
We welcome graduate nurses at Eisenhower Medical Center! We have successfully hired and oriented graduate nurses in most units for many years. We are pleased to now offer our own Eisenhower Medical Center Graduate Nurse Residency Program as a supplement to the unit-based orientation.
The Graduate Nurse Residency Program is designed to help talented new nursing graduates transition from novice toward expert nurse. Our program offers a strategic mix of evidenced-based monthly seminars and hands-on education, peer support and seasoned nurse mentorship. It is designed and conducted by nurse experts from across Eisenhower Medical Center. The program’s goal is to increase the new graduate nurses’ critical thinking, clinical competence, confidence, and comfort in an acute care setting. Graduate Nurses receive strong support for transition into their first year of nursing practice.
Our Graduate Nurse Residency Program supports the national recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (October, 2010). We are pleased that our program is designed to permit hiring of graduate nurses throughout the year as needs arise.
Preceptor Development and Training
The preceptor philosophy of the Department of Nursing at Eisenhower Medical Center stems from two components of the Relationship Based Care Model: 1) Care of Colleagues (EMC orientees); and 2) Care of Self. Caring for Colleagues at EMC incorporates the recognition that generational issues as well as learning styles play important roles for both the preceptor and the orientee. The Preceptor Class provides interactive activities and group discussion on both issues.
The formal Preceptor Program is directed by the Nursing Professional Development staff, and guided by the Nursing Professional Development Council (PDC). The Professional Development staff utilizes J. Grif Alspach’s Preceptor Handbook - From Staff Nurse to Preceptor Training Program to help nurses develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes important for the preceptor role. Clinical Directors recommend clinical nurses on their unit as preceptors, based on several characteristics: clinical expertise and knowledge, critical thinking skills, respect by the peer group, honesty and integrity, positive attitude, effective communication skills, and genuine concern for the others. Individual clinical nurses interested in becoming a preceptor may attend the initial Preceptor Education class, but need a recommendation by the Clinical Director before they can receive a preceptor assignment. Clinical nurses who have nurse leader approval as a preceptor are compensated to attend the 6 hour program.
PeriOp 101 Course
Eisenhower Medical Center’s PeriOperative 101 Course is six months in length and provides nurses with the knowledge and skills to launch a successful career in the operating room. From equipment and instrument use, to critical thinking, communication skills and beyond – this comprehensive, didactic program utilizes classroom training, precepted clinical practice, mentoring and online learning modules based upon the latest evidence-based Guidelines for Perioperative Practice through the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses’ (AORN) e-learning platform. Each Perioperative 101 RN orientee has a Primary Preceptor to guide them during their “course”. Perioperative 101 prepares RNs for a successful career in surgical services and improves standards of practice, leading to improved patient outcomes in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Emergency Department Nursing Internship Programs
New Graduate Internship Program
The New Graduate Internship program is twelve-months in length and provides the new nurse with a solid clinical foundation of Emergency Nursing care. The program combines classroom, online learning and “at-the-bedside” learning platform to allow for knowledge gain and transference of that knowledge to the bedside. The new graduate is allowed several opportunities to appreciate the role of Emergency Response including the Emergency Medical Services’ role prior to arrival, mock Code Blue scenarios, the role of the Sexual Assault Response RN and cardiac catheterization post Emergency Care. The new graduate works alongside an experienced RN for 12-weeks, following their schedule and engaging in holistic care from an evidenced-based practice perspective. Following this 12-week fully precepted experience, the new graduate then shadows their preceptor for one-month, but engaging in their own patient assignment. For the remainder of this 12-month internship, the new graduate will participate in monthly didactic workshop seminars for learning engagements and in completing their own research project.
RN Transition to Practice Program
The Transition to Practice program has been developed for those experienced Registered Nurses who are transitioning into the Emergency Department from other settings. This program combines personalized online learning, and an “at-the-bedside” learning platform to build emergency department specific care. This program is tailored to the individual nurse dependent on their previous experience. The transition RN will have a 7-week precepted experience with a highly skilled Emergency Department Registered Nurse engaging in holistic care from an evidenced-based practice perspective.
Critical Care Nursing Internship and Orientation Program
The Critical Care Orientation Program is a multilateral professional development model for training and educating nursing staff in the care of critically ill patients. This plan includes educational pathways for orientation to critical care, as well as individualized orientation to cardiothoracic and neurosurgical nursing for the experienced critical care nurse. Additionally, advanced education and training, in-services, grand rounds with the medical staff, and critical care conferences have been established to support and enhance the knowledge of the experienced critical care nursing staff.
In order to ensure an adequate number of appropriately trained staff, the Critical Care Nursing Department exercises a collaborative approach to Critical Care Education. A Critical Care Course “Essentials of Critical Care” is offered on a biennial basis, using the American Association of Critical Care Nurses’ system based model.
Furthermore, the Critical Care Department offers a Critical Care Professional Development Pathway, utilizing a blended method of education and training for orientation. This pathway model is designed to allow nurses from different experience levels transition to our critical care departments, while rewarding those who are clinical experts in the preceptor role. This exemplar allows for five different levels of entry into the orientation process: Novice, Advanced Beginner, Competent, Proficient, and Expert.
Based on Patricia Benner’s skills acquisition model of Novice to Expert (1984), this education plan supports staff development and training transitioning from the beginner nurse through all levels of professional development, training, and competency assessment.