Postgraduate Nurse Practitioner Residency Programs: Supporting Transition to Practice

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The 2010 Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing recommended residency programs for nurses. The number of such postgraduate residencies for nurse practitioners (NPs) is increasing in community settings; still, the Institute of Medicine’s recommendation departs from the tradition of direct entry into practice after the completion of a formal nursing program. Research shows that residencies support NPs’ transition to practice, but very few data support their impact on patient care. Postgraduate residencies are controversial, and the authors of this Commentary discuss the naming, funding mechanisms, and possible mandating of these programs.The authors believe that residencies should not be mandated but encouraged for new NPs and for those moving to new clinical settings. Team-based residencies provide both an opportunity to improve collaboration and a model of patient-centered care.

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