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An Exceptional, Evidenced-Based Nurse Residency Program for RNs

About the Nurse Residency Program

The Lee Health Nurse Residency Program is a groundbreaking nurse residency program for newly licensed nurses, nurses wishing to change specialties, and nurses returning to the acute-care setting after an extended leave. Nurses hired into the Nurse Residency Program will receive needed support, education, professional development and mentoring.

Each nurse resident, in the Nurse Residency Program, will receive an in-depth assessment of their critical thinking skills that are necessary for success in acute care. This assessment will guide nurse educators in the development of an individualized orientation plan for each nurse resident.

Lee Health's Nurse Residency Program's main objective is to help transition the nurse resident into a safe, competent, confident and satisfied independent nurse! The first year of practice can be a stressful time for new grads, so all participants in the Nurse Resident Program will also be assigned an Resident Development Specialist (RDS) to ensure oversight of their development and to provide support and mentorship.

In addition, the Nurse Residency Program offers experienced nurses the opportunity to bridge to a higher level of acuity, thus promoting clinical advancement and career growth. The program also supports nurses who are returning to the bedside. Experienced nurses would apply to the Experienced Nurse Bridge Residency.

How Will the Nurse Residency Program Help Me Reach My Full Potential?

Since the Nurse Residency Program is a truly individualized program, the classroom content and clinical experiences have been designed to be tailored to the unique needs of each nurse resident.

The Nurse residents will be introduced to professional practice and explore such topics as:

  • SBAR: Enhanced Communications
  • Delegation, Prioritization, the Lee Health Care Model, Ethics, Cardiac Rhythm recognition, and Journal Clubs
  • Sabotage Savvy/Conflict Management
  • Reflective Learning
  • Evidence-Based Practice

In the weeks that follow, each nurse resident will work side by side with an experienced nurse, referred to as a Clinical Coach, who enjoys working with nurse residents and who has completed additional education to prepare for the role.

In the Nurse Residency Program there is not a pre-determined length of time allotted for a nurse resident to transition to independent practice. We have found that the typical length of time for orientation may extend from 6-20 weeks, depending on the practice area and the needs of the individual.

The RDS will meet with the nurse resident on a regular basis, at least daily or weekly at first, to ensure a smooth transition to independent practice. The RDS will then continue to work with the nurse resident for a period of two years to assist with professional development, career planning and mentorship.

Here at Lee Health, nurse residents are accepted into all clinical areas, intermittently throughout the year. Some of our practice areas include:

  • Cardiac Medicine
  • Emergency Department
  • Intensive Care
  • Labor and Delivery/ Mom-Baby
  • Medical/Surgical
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Operating Room
  • Orthopedics
  • Pediatric Intensive Care
  • Pediatrics
  • Progressive Care
  • Rehabilitation, Dialysis, Home Health

Lee Health has four acute care and two specialty hospitals. They are Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center, Lee Memorial Hospital, Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Southwest Florida.

How Do I Apply to the Nurse Residency Program?

Applicant must be in the final semester of a nursing program in order to apply. The potential candidate will apply online at Please apply to the one generic “Resident/RN” position that is posted. Experienced nurses interested in the Nurse Bridge Residency should apply to one job posting, "Experienced Nurse/Specialty Residency".

In order for the application to be approved and accepted, applicants must hold a current American Heart Association Basic Life Support card valid for at least 90 days from the hire date. Once the online application is approved and accepted, the candidate may be contacted by phone for a brief HR interview. Several more interviews will be conducted during the selection process, as Lee Health places a high value on hiring the best candidates for our nurse residency program.

Due to the investment in each individual resident’s development, a work commitment agreement will be required upon entry into the nurse residency program.