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Nursing Graduate Students Develop Pilot Residency Program

Karen Lutter and Nancy Fink developed a pilot residency program at Iowa Health-Des Moines (IHDM) while they were pursuing nursing degrees at the graduate level, reports the Des Moines Register.

As students, the two recognized that there were new graduates who required additional clinical experience. Lutter, manager of nursing operations for IHDM, and Fink, a clinical education specialist for the organization, utilized their backgrounds in specialty areas such as finance to develop the program.

According to Lutter, the program allows newly licensed nurses the chance to talk about an experience that they had in their clinical experience. She adds that it provides a "non-threatening" environment to work out any issues that arise.

Though the residency program was a part of Lutter and Fink’s graduate studies, which they completed earlier this year, they are currently working with leaders to expand it for next year.

The nursing program’s long-term goal is to help retain care providers for a longer period of time. "If you can start a new nurse out on the right foot, they’re more likely to stay," Lutter told the Register. She added that individuals who are actively involved are more likely to stay.

In 2008, the median annual wage for registered nurses was $62,450, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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