Get to know the Providence St. Joseph Health (PSJH) Clinical Academy

May 01, 2018

clinical_academyThe PSJH Clinical Academy, a major strategic component of the PSJH Nursing Institute, was launched in April 2016 as a strategy to recruit and retain registered nurses. Because of growing scarcity of qualified specialty nurses, especially perioperative, critical care, ED, medical-surgical and perinatal RNs, an intense initial focus has been creating and implementing evidence-based nurse residency and fellowship programs to produce needed specialty nurses. Residents are newly-licensed nurses and fellows are licensed experienced RNs who are new to a specialty.

The market for experienced and well educated RNs has become fiercely competitive, at a time when PSJH nursing turnover has been unacceptably high. Every new nurse we hire is a precious commodity, and must be well prepared, supported, inspired and retained across their entire PSJH career.

  • Starting with those specialty RNs roles most difficult to recruit and retain, the Clinical Academy has implemented 17 formal specialty programs, and will add 7 additional more in 2018. Each new program is created based on input from clinical content experts from across PSJH. Local clinical education teams, with support from the Clinical Academy program managers, are then responsible for implementing the residency and fellowship tracks within and across ministries. Clinical Academy curricula are now operational in 45 PSJH acute hospitals and 3 non-acute facilities.
  • The PSJH residency consists of focused specialty training embedded in a ten-month program to fully transition new nurses to professional PSJH nursing practice. These standardized residency programs help ensure that every nurse, regardless of where they enter our organization, has a similar high quality, evidence-based experience designed to ease their way into the profession. By assuring consistency across our system for all Clinical Academy programs, we are able to measure, evaluate and improve our programs reliably and efficiently.
  • In addition to attracting and preparing nurses, residency programs are proven strategies to reduce nursing turnover while improving nurse satisfaction, retention and patient care outcomes. The PSJH Clinical Academy has already realized early success, with over 3000 nurses participating to date. First year turnover for nurses who participated in a Clinical Academy program is 51% lower than for nurses who did not. Our reliance on external agency nurses to fill key specialty nurse positions has dropped from a high of $150 million to between $6 and 10 million annually since 2016. Impact to quality outcomes and nursing satisfaction is expected but will take longer to measure.

Clinical Academy FAQ

Why create the Clinical Academy?

We wish to provide our nurses with:

  • The best on-boarding experience possible in support of creating a highly competent nursing workforce with high levels of satisfaction.
  • Provide a standard and accessible framework for Providence nurses who want to transition their practice from their current setting to a new specialty.
  • Provide the excellent care our patients need and deserve through our own nurses rather than relying on outside agency nurses.

How does a nurse get into the clinical academy?

A nurse interested in the program will submit an on-line application for posted positions within their facility. Nurses with specialty experience will be assessed upon hire to determine which if any sections of the specialty curriculum would be beneficial.

What specialty areas are included in the clinical academy?

Specialties offered may vary by ministry/hospital. The Clinical Academy supports the following specialties:

  • Obstetrics
  • Emergency Department
  • Medical-Surgical
  • Telemetry
  • Critical Care
  • Perioperative
  • Core Fundamentals
  • Preceptor
  • Mentor
  • Cardiovascular Lab
  • Behavioral Health
  • Care/Case Management
  • NICU
  • Stepdown / PCU
  • Oncology
  • Ortho / Spine
  • Critical Access
  • Home Health/Hospice*
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Pediatrics*
  • PACU*
  • Endoscopy*
  • Nurse Leader Fellowship*
  • Nurse Educator Fellowship*

    * Live Fall 2018

Who is eligible for the program?

Any RN new to the specialty setting. New graduates will be in a “residency” program and experienced RNs will be in a “fellowship” program.