Center for Practice & Education
Roger Williams Medical Center is investing in the future of our nurses. A national shortage of nursing staff and a decline in nursing school enrollment has created serious challenges for the profession. In order to help, we have created the Roger Williams Nursing Center for Practice and Education. The Center is designed to accomplish two goals:
- create a learning environment that fosters and recognizes growth and development of staff and
- advance the clinical practice of nursing care of patients and their families.
Helping advance nursing practice, the Center provides clinical interest groups, patient education, and initiatives like the Visiting Scholar Program that result in nursing excellence. The Center also provides a number of internal and external programs designed to support professional development.
On our own hospital campus, the following initiatives are helping educate nurses at all levels of experience. A continuum of learning provides opportunities for student nurses, novice nurses, and experienced nurses to follow a pathway through our internship, specialized programs and residencies.
Student Nurse Internships
This program gives student nurses the opportunity to work side-by-side with experienced nurses, helping prepare them for life after graduation. Student nurses who have completed a minimum of 2 clinical rotations are considered for the program. During the academic year and summer break they are assigned with expert nurse preceptors based upon individual interest and strengths. After completing this program, the student intern may transition into the Novice Nurse Program.
Novice Nurse Program
The Roger Williams’ Novice Nurse Program is a structured orientation and professional development program designed to ease the transition from new graduate to professional nurse. Supported by clinical experts, engaged preceptors, and other leaders, the Novice Nurse program promotes safe practice, knowledge, development, and self-confidence by bridging the gap from novice nurse to competent team member.
The structured program connects the Novice Nurse to the professional practice model while increasing engagement with our patients and within the interdisciplinary care team. The program includes guided clinical experience with a preceptor, education and curriculum, supportive components and mentored professional development.
Please note that current requirements include:
- Graduate of an approved school of nursing
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
- Official transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation
An essay that answers one of the following questions:
- The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience.
- Discuss an accomplishment, event or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others during your nursing education.
- Reflect on your personal reasons for choosing the nursing profession.
Students that have not taken the NCLEX exam may apply but must have a valid RN license by the program start date.
Nurse Preceptor Program
All nurses new to Roger Williams, novice or experienced, begin their employment partnered with an experienced preceptor. Selected by the Clinical Nurse Manager, preceptors make a difference in the learning curve of a new team member, and ultimately contribute to the quality of care delivered to patients on their unit. Our preceptors are nurses who recognize the value of this special role.
Each new nurse is treated as an adult learner, with unique personal strengths and needs in the new working environment. An individualized orientation plan is created based on input from the Clinical Nurse Manager, Clinical Educator, preceptor and the new employee. Periodic assessment and evaluation ensure effective communication is maintained during the introductory period. The goal is to progressively build on knowledge as learning opportunities are introduced and new skills are mastered.
Nursing Residency Program
Medical- surgical nurses who are interested in transitioning to a specialty area, e.g. perioperative, critical care, oncology, or emergency, are offered a supportive environment for change. Our clinical educators develop an individualized educational plan for the specialty. Staff are mentored to ensure they will succeed in the new practice area.
Ongoing Education and Certification Programs
Our nursing staff is encouraged to focus on lifelong learning and professional growth and development. One of our recent special projects was a Professional Practice and Advancement Resource Fair. The nursing leadership team and invited representatives from local colleges of nursing provided staff with the opportunity to discuss a variety of formal education options, such as RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs. Reference materials were available for professional and specialty organization memberships, as well as information about our current CEU approved hospital education programs. In addition, everyone was invited to identify areas of interest for new Resource Nurse roles, and could request individual support or counseling through our internal mentoring network.