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Frequently Asked Questions

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APPLICATION FAQs

How do I apply?
Apply online for either a Staff RN - Nurse Resident Hospital/Home Healthcare position or a Staff RN - Ambulatory Nurse Resident position. Applications are accepted in September for the spring start; in December/January for the summer start and April /May for the fall start.

Can I apply for the Nurse Residency Program before I pass my NCLEX exam?
Yes. A new graduate BSN nurse may apply for the program prior to completing the NCLEX exam.
Nurses must possess a valid Nebraska or Compact Registered Nurse license prior to starting employment at Children’s.

Can I apply for both Hospital/Home Care and Ambulatory Nurse Resident Positions?
You are encouraged to apply for only one of these positions.  Candidates applying for both positions will go through two separate, but similar selection processes.

What is involved in Stage 2 of the application process?
Based on established criteria, selected candidates will be asked to complete Stage 2 of the nurse resident application process, which involves submitting the following information:
• Two letters of recommendation; one of which must be from a pediatric clinical faculty member using the form that will be provided to you
• Official school transcripts from BSN program. Cumulative GPA must be 3.0 or higher
• Resumé
Applicants must commit to working full time during the first year of the Nurse Residency Program.

How will I be notified if I advance in the process?
If selected for an interview, you will be contacted via phone to schedule your interview time with the Nurse Residency Steering Team. If you are not selected for an interview, you will be notified via email.

Should the application packet include an official transcript?
Yes. Even though transcripts can be retrieved online, we only accept official transcripts. The transcripts will need to be in a sealed envelope and included with the nurse resident’s application packet. We also accept official transcripts mailed directly from the school.

What is the interview format?
Interviews will last up to 45 minutes and are conducted as a group interview with members of the Nurse Residency Program Steering Team. All candidates will be asked to give a five-minute presentation on a recent independent school project and its related outcome. The presentation should focus on individual work, not a group project. Visuals can include a PowerPoint presentation, a poster board or other media appropriate to share the presentation.

If I am hired into the Nurse Residency Program, will I be paid and eligible for benefits?
Yes. Nurse residents are considered full-time employees and are eligible to receive benefits, including vacation, sick time and paid holidays after the accrual period. Detailed information regarding benefits for Children’s employees will be reviewed at the time of the interview.

If hired into the Nurse Residency Program, what shifts and/or hours will I work?
Hospital / Home Healthcare Nurse Residents
For the first seven weeks, you will work with preceptors in each service area and will need to be available to work either days or nights and weekends. The total hours worked each week will be 36 hours per week scheduled at Children’s. There will be some variation in the number of hours per day and the number of days per week during the first weeks. However, you will not work more than 40 hours in a week and not more than 12 hours in one day. In a given week you will have a mix of two clinical days with a preceptor and two scheduled days of class time. You are required to work full time during the first two years of the Nurse Residency program.
When the clinical rotation weeks are completed, you will be placed in your home area and you will work primarily 12-hour shifts during area orientation, with the exception of designated days for classroom instruction. There are regularly scheduled educational sessions that all nurse residents are expected to attend during their first year of employment.

Ambulatory Nurse Residents
For the first six weeks, you will attend class and work with preceptors in various outpatient areas. In a given week, you will have class in the morning on three days per week with rotational clinical experiences in the afternoons. Additional days will offer clinical experiences with preceptors. The total hours worked each week will be 40 hours per week scheduled at Children’s. There will be some variation on the number of hours per day and the number of days per week during the first weeks. However, you will not work more than 40 hours in a week and not more than 12 hours in one day. You are required to work full-time during the first two years of the Nurse Residency Program.

What is “placement” in the Nurse Residency Program?
Each area will determine how many positions will be available in the nurse residency program. At the end of the first phase (rotational clinical experiences) of the residency program, the nurse residents’ area preference and input provided by area preceptors and educators will determine where the nurse will be matched. The nurse resident’s preference is not guaranteed, but will be considered.
• Hospital/Home Healthcare nurse residents are asked to select their top three desired areas to work in.
• Ambulatory Nurse Residents will select to work in the Specialty Care Center or one of the Children’s Physician’s clinics. Successful completion of Phase 1 of the residency program guarantees employment in one of the residency nursing areas.

Do you offer shift and weekend differentials in the Nurse Residency Program?
• Hospital/Home Healthcare Nurse Residents are eligible for shift differentials, which are offered for evening, night, and weekend shifts.
• Ambulatory Nurse Residents:
   o Specialty Pediatric Center nurse residents are eligible for shift differentials for weekend shifts.
   o Children’s Physician’s nurse residents at the blended-model clinic will be eligible for evening and weekend differentials

After being placed in a specific area, what shift will I work?
Hospital Nurse Residents
In general, newly hired nurse residents work 36 hours per week on the night shift. Depending on the staffing needs of the area, there may be other shift opportunities are available.
 
Home Healthcare Nurse Residents
• Home Healthcare nurse residents work 36 hours per week over four shifts. On-call is required one night per week and a rotating schedule for weekends.
• Private Duty In-Home nurse residents work 36 hours per week. The schedule is primarily nights, but is dependent on the families’ needs as they contract for services. There is a combination of 8- and 12-hour shifts available.

Ambulatory Nurse Residents:
• Shifts are Monday-Friday days with some Saturdays and some extended hours until 7p.m. in certain clinics. In the Children’s Physicians blended-model clinic (Council Bluffs), there are some shifts until 10 p.m.

What if I can’t work the schedule of my assigned preceptor?
The nurse resident will have the best possible experience working with an assigned preceptor. Research has shown that multiple preceptor assignments have a negative impact on learning success in orientation. Both the preceptor and the nurse resident will be discouraged from multiple schedule changes.

Can I work a second job during the Nurse Residency Program?
A second job is not recommended because the program requires flexibility in scheduling and always requires a fresh mind to process and retain new information.

Can I take personal leave while in the Nurse Residency Program?
• Hospital/Home Healthcare Nurse Residents: You may not take personal leave during the first seven weeks of clinical rotation or during any area-specific orientation.
• Ambulatory Nurse Residents: You may not take personal leave during the first six weeks of clinical rotation or during any area-specific orientation.

If I have experience as a nurse, will I need to participate in the Nurse Residency Program?
If, upon application, the new graduate nurse possesses less than six months experience as an RN, the nurse must apply to the Nurse Residency Program. RN’s who have one year or more of adult-care experience may be eligible for our Transition to Pediatrics Program.

Why does Children’s only accept new graduates with a BSN into the Nurse Residency Program?
These are recommendations from both the Magnet Commission and the Institute of Medicine/Future of Nursing with target goals to increase the percentage of BSN-prepared nurses at the bedside. One of the ways that Children’s can move toward meeting those goals is to begin hiring all new graduates with a minimum of a BSN. Another strategy is to support existing staff wanting to earn their BSN or MSN through Children’s Tuition Reimbursement program benefit. Requiring a BSN is becoming the standard for entry into acute care hospital nursing practice.