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Evaluation of Outcomes From an Online Nurse Residency Program

Wilson, Thad, PhD, RN; Weathers, Nicole, MSN, RN; Forneris, Lori, MS, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: October 2018 - Volume 48 - Issue 10 - p 495–501
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000657

OBJECTIVE This retrospective study examined the nurse outcomes from new-graduate nurse residents completing an online nurse residency program (NRP).

BACKGROUND Studies have shown that hospital-based NRPs help new graduates transition from beginners to competent nurses. However, NRPs can tax the resources of smaller institutions, making such a program unrealistic. Little is published exploring the efficacy of online programs for nursing residents.

METHODS Surveys assessing the impact of the online program were completed by residents in an online NRP at initiation, 6 months, and at completion.

RESULTS There were statistically significant improvements in organizational and prioritizing skills; confidence in communication with other healthcare providers, patients, and families; and improved leadership ability. The percentage of residents reporting negative safety practices and patient errors decreased over time.

CONCLUSIONS An NRP using online educational modules results in nurse outcomes comparable to those reported from traditional models.

Author Affiliation: President and Professor (Dr Wilson), Research College of Nursing, Kansas City, Missouri; Program Manager (Ms Weathers), Iowa Online Nurse Residency Program, University of Iowa College of Nursing; and Clinical Practice Expert (Ms Forneris), UnityPoint Health–St Lukes, Sioux City, Iowa.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Wilson, 2525 E Meyer Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64132 (

Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.