The Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program — one of the first of its kind — helps transition new nurse residents into their clinical roles and build their confidence. The program consists of an evidence-based curriculum and final project, as well as interactive exercises.


2017 Nurse Residency Program retention* compared to the national average of 82.5%**

Improve retention of new nurses

Leslie Norman, chief nursing officer at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, discusses how the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ gave new nurse graduates a better transition into the hospital environment, led to a higher nurse retention rate and sparked an evidence-based practice movement within the health care organization.

About the Nurse Residency Program 

Nurses comprise the largest percentage of the nation’s health care workforce. Nurses have a unique scope of practice and greatly impact patients by promoting healthy living, preventing disease and helping them cope with illnesses. The demand for nurses is greater than ever; however, the RN Work Project, a 10-year panel study of new graduate nurses, found that 17.5 percent leave their first nursing jobs within the first year. This is mainly due to a lack of professional nursing development programs available to support them when they transition from academia to a clinical setting. In fact, in the Institute of Medicine’s “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” report, nurse residency programs are specifically recommended because they improve new nurses’ abilities and increase confidence.

The Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ (NRP), developed by Vizient® and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, supports new graduate nurses as they successfully transition to competent professionals by helping them learn how to:

  • Use effective decision-making skills
  • Provide clinical nursing leadership when administering care
  • Incorporate research-based evidence into practice
  • Strengthen their professional commitment to nursing
  • Formulate an individual development plan

The NRP helps participating organizations focus on retaining new nurses by offering a widely accepted curriculum, the ability to benchmark performance against those of select peers and opportunities to network with other NRP participants.

The NRP developed and regularly updates an evidence-based curriculum that meets national residency accreditation standards. The curriculum includes sections on leadership, professional roles and quality outcomes, as well as a chapter specifically focused on nursing in ambulatory care environments. The residents study and learn the curriculum through monthly seminars and group discussions.

An integral component of the NRP is the evidence-based practice project (EBPP). All residents are required to complete an EBPP, which supports the development of critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. The projects are presented at the end of the residency and can be submitted as poster or podium presentations at the NRP Annual Meeting.

Participating organizations receive an annual outcomes report and benchmarking reports. The outcomes report examines the impact of the program on its graduates and, to some extent, the impact of the program on the institution. Benchmarking reports enable NRP sites to compare their results to other participants in the program.


*For new graduate registered nurses hired in 2017, all education levels.

**Kovner CT, Brewer CS, Fatehi F, Jun J. What does nurse turnover rate mean and what is the rate? Policy Polit Nurs Pract. 2014;15(3-4):64-71.

Newly licensed registered nurses: facts and figures. RN Work Project website. Accessed March 7, 2017.

The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. The National Academy of Sciences website. Published October 2010. Accessed January 2018.

Vizient members have exclusive access to additional Nurse Residency Program resources.

Take a Cue from Nursing History

Hear from Lois Book of Tampa General Hospital about how nurse's should take to heart Florence Nightengale's quote, "We can do better than this."

Go Ahead, Young Leaders, Show Us What You’ve Got

Hear from Shanel Martens of Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital about the importance of inspiring the next generation to challenge the status quo in nursing.

Connect with us to learn more about the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program.