The Effectiveness of Nurse Residency Programs on Retention: A Systematic Review

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New graduates account for the highest numbers of nurses entering and exiting the profession. Turnover is costly, especially in specialty settings. Nurse residency programs are used to retain new graduates and assist with their transition to nursing practice. The purpose of this systematic review of the literature was to examine new graduate nurse residency programs, residents’ perceived satisfaction, and retention rates, and to make recommendations for implementation in perioperative settings. Results indicate increased retention rates for new graduates participating in residency programs and that residency participants experienced greater satisfaction with their orientation than those not participating in residency programs. Residency participants also perceived the residency as beneficial. Because residency programs vary in curricula and length, effectively comparing outcomes is difficult. More longitudinal data are needed. Data on residency programs specific to perioperative nursing are lacking. Considering the aging perioperative nursing workforce, residency programs could address critical needs for succession planning.

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