Connect with us


Wythe County Community Hospital begins offering new nurses a residency program



Wythe County, Virginia – To improve healthcare for those of us in Southwest Virginia, a community hospital in one of our hometowns is launching a new program to help novice nurses gain confidence and, ideally, be retained.

Wythe County Community Hospital is launching a brand-new program for nurse residents.
Newly graduating nurses will work with preceptors for a full year, providing them with mentorship to help them become successful healthcare professionals.

“Evidence has shown that they need the ability to be able to bridge the gap, we have an academic little bit of a delay in them getting from nursing right into a hospital setting,” said Theresa Dix, Chief Nursing Officer.

The year is divided into three sections by the program: leadership development, culture shift, and clinical competency.

“The preceptors are going to be working one on one for the first twelve weeks with the new grad RNs and they’re the ones that are really going to identify the needs, and any challenges that their new grads are having and to facilitate all of that learning all of those critical thinking skills, all of the hands-on development and practice that is needed to be a bedside nurse,” said Kayla Helewski, Clinical Educator, On-Site Coordinator.

The program’s leaders are hoping that this will stop burnout.

“We have found that in particular since COVID, we’re seeing burnout a lot easier, a lot quicker in new grads and a new nurses within that first year, this residency program helps us bridge that first year, helps us retain them, helps them feel stronger as a nurse, and then we’re able to keep them in our community, we’re able to build the nurses that we want to have, with the skill set that we want to have,” said Dix.

“After a year, a lot of new grads would leave the facility they started at to seek other opportunities or to leave nursing altogether. So retention is a huge part of getting nurses in here and developing them and then wanting them to stay here because you’re pouring so much time and energy and knowledge and skills and experience into them. Those are the nurses you want to keep are the ones that have all of that experience and knowledge and to continue to grow with them,” said Helewski.

It is said that everyone in Southwest Virginia who requires medical attention can gain from being able to retain highly qualified nurses.

“We do sit on the intersection of 81 and 77. So we are a very busy little community facility. We do recognize our limitations when we cannot take care of a patient here and we need to escalate them to a higher level of care. But it is important that we have nurses that are well trained, nurses that can work in a rural setting that’s not used to all of the resources that maybe a bigger facility has. I do feel like the nurses that have been in our hospital and have stayed here for a long time, are very well trained, can critically think very well and take excellent care of our patients,” said Dix.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *