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New Nurse Grads and our Nurse Residency Program

All new graduates joining VCU Health participate in a new Graduate Residency Program coordinated through the Department of Education and Professional Development (EPD) in partnership with nurse managers and nurse clinicians.

About our program

Since 2004, in collaboration with the VCU School of Nursing, we have offered the Vizient and America Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Nurse Residency Program curriculum. This one-year program supports new graduates of baccalaureate and associate degree nursing programs. The Nurse Residency Program at VCU Health System – VCU Medical Center is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, (202) 887-6791.

Other nursing benefits include:

  • Charge nurse program and preceptorship program
  • Competitive salary and shift differential
  • Paid review course for National Council Licensure Examination (Kaplan, Hurst Uworld)
  • Tuition assistance for Master of Science in Nursing and Bachelor of Science in Nursing


All newly hired new graduate nurses are enrolled and must be:

  • Graduates of an accredited nursing program with less than one year of RN work experience
  • Hold current RN licensure in Virginia, or compact state, or be eligible for licensure (all selected candidates must take and pass NCLEX within 90 days of graduation date)
  • Residency cohorts are defined by seasonal on-board periods of spring, summer, fall and winter.

Program components

Our program incorporates a variety of individual and group learning activities which complement unit-based clinical learning activities. Nurse Residents commit the following components of the one-year program:

  • Complete online program evaluation at the start of the program, at 6 months and 12 months
  • Complete unit competency based clinical orientation successfully
  • Attend monthly Nurse Residency seminars for the duration of the one-year program
  • Complete and submit clinical narratives reflecting the domains of practice outlined in the VCU Health Professional Advancement Program
  • Complete, submit, and present an approved Evidence Based Practice Project using the Johns Hopkins EMP Model
  • Complete and submit a Residency Portfolio inclusive of self-evaluation for one-year performance appraisal
  • Attend and participate in the Nurse Residency Poster Presentations and Graduation Celebration at the completion of the program

Program objectives

  • Provide all new graduates with transitional support in their first year of practice
  • Foster comprehensive, individualized preceptorships for all new graduates
  • Encourage development of critical thinking skills through the use of personal reflection
  • Foster the graduate nurse’s ability to incorporate existing evidence in clinical decision making to strengthen the delivery of safe patient care using systems theory and interprofessional resources
  • Guide all new graduates along the journey to successful promotion to Clinical Nurse II within the Professional Advancement Program (PAP) at VCU Health

Curriculum content

Our program includes two phases:

  1. In the first six months, nurse residents are provided transitional support and an opportunity to explore professional themes of practice in monthly seminars that are part of our Perspectives series.
  2. In the next six months, participants begin our Best Practices series of seminars. Here the focus is on the introduction and development of early clinical leadership skills.

Phase I – Perspective Series

Months 0-6
Perspectives I: Self-Care
Perspectives II: Communications & Collaboration
Perspectives III: Kaleidoscope Challenge
Perspectives IV: Ethics/End of Life
Perspectives V: Performance Improvement & Professional Development

Phase 2 – Best Practices Series

Months 7-12
Best Practices I: Johns Hopkins EMP Model
Best Practices II: Pain
Best Practices III: Skin
Best Practices IV: Med Administration/Falls
Best Practices Project Presentation

Contact information

For HR questions about job interviews or HR-related questions, please contact HR4U@vcuhealth.org

For Nurse Residency Program questions, contact one of our coordinators NRPAdmin@vcuhealth.org

Admission to the program:

There is no separate application to the Nurse Residency Program. You will automatically start the program (if you have less than 6 months RN experience) once you accept an RN position at VCU Health.

Step 1: Visit www.vcuhealth.org/careers
Step 2: Search current Registered Nurse job openings in our online job portal
Step 3: Create a user account within the online job portal
Step 4: Apply for a Registered Nurse position

Once you have been selected to interview for a Registered Nurse position, offered and accept a position at VCU Health, you are automatically enrolled in the Nurse Residency Program.

New grads are encouraged to watch for new career postings!