Although RMH recruits nurses for open positions throughout the year, the summer is always busy with nursing graduates looking for jobs.
RMH is fortunate to have neighboring Blue Ridge Community College, Eastern Mennonite University and James Madison University offering Registered Nurse (RN) programs.
RMH has an excellent relationship with these schools, and we partner with them to make RMH a clinical site for their students. Once students complete their clinicals with us and interact with our staff, they often apply to work with us and become part of our team.
This year, we have hired 16 graduates who began to work as RNs during the months of May and June. Six of these new grads previously served as Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) at RMH, and have now graduated as Registered Nurses, continuing their career with us.
The transition from nursing school to professional practice is often very stressful for new nurse graduates. They have to adjust to the physical and emotional demands of the job (working 12-hour shifts, learning to deal with a patient who passes away while maintaining composure and offering support and strength to the family, etc.).
In order to help support our new nurse graduates and help them be successful, we offer a Preceptor Program. The preceptor program provides an environment of learning, growth, support, and development for new employees, by assigning them with an experienced nurse who serves as a role model and resource person.
In addition, we offer a New Nurse Graduate Support Program, in two parts. During the first part, a facilitator meets with a group of new graduates, over a period of six to eight weeks after they are hired, for a roundtable discussion to assess and discuss what is going well and what challenges they have. New grads are able to share questions, concerns, fears, and successes with each other. The second part consists of an 8-hour workshop, with a variety of presenters discussing topics such as time management, conflict, teamwork, learning how to survive shift work (proper sleep and eating habits), maintaining work-life balance, and dealing with death and dying.
We believe that by supporting our new grads, we will be able to retain them and help them to be successful in their career.
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