Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nursing Graduates Find Support at LifeBridge Health

For nursing graduates, transitioning from school to a hospital can be tough. That's one of the reasons behind LifeBridge Health's Project Connect, a program aimed at supporting nursing graduates.

Susan Bindon, MS, RN-BC, and the Project Connect Team, pictured at right, recently won first place and a cash prize of $1,500 from their Project Connect poster at the Maryland Organization of Nurse Executives' annual leadership-themed poster contest. The money will be put back into materials and other components of Project Connect.

The poster was accepted at the national conference of the American Organization of Nursing Executives (AONE) and will be presented San Diego in April 2011. It highlighted the success of the program of retaining nurses at Sinai, Northwest and Levindale. The program provides new nurses with individual and life coaching sessions, workshops, graduations and celebrations, evaluations and other support. It was made possible through a five-year grant from the Health Services Cost Review Commission.

"We really want to nurture nursing graduates through that first year,and hope that they end up staying," Bindon says.

The nurses reported high rates of satisfaction with Project Connect, as do nursing leaders. It's also important for a hospital system to retain these employees. Between 35 to 61 percent of new nurses leave their first job within their first year, and the orientation, training and replacement costs for each new nurse who leaves an organization is estimated at $42,000 to $60,000.

To learn more about Project Connect, listen to the podcast here.

Are you an upcoming nursing graduate who wants to learn more about Project Connect? Click here or call 410-601-0727.

-Elizabeth Leis-Newman

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