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. This program includes an evidence-based curriculum and final project, as well as interactive exercises. It is designed to help decrease the nurse turnover rate, improve decision-making skills, enhance clinical nursing leadership practices and promote the incorporation of research-based evidence into practice. Participants benefit from access to benchmarking data, an up-to-date curriculum and the opportunity to network with peers across the country.


2020 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.1 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, nursing residency programs are specifically recommended because they improve new nurses’ abilities and increase confidence.2

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 helps organizations meet national standards for accreditation. 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.

1Newly licensed registered nurses: facts and figures. RN Work Project website. Accessed March 7, 2017.

2The 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.


Members access additional resources

Clinical Workforce Conference 2020 recap

Watch the sessions from last year covering new issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as ongoing challenges.

Conversations focused on issues affecting clinicians, shared leading practices and discussions on the path forward for clinical teams as the health care industry stabilizes after COVID-19, adapts to our new normal, and evolves to remain successful during and after the pandemic.

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