Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I apply?

Apply online for a Staff RN Resident: Ambulatory/Home Healthcare/Hospital position. Applications are accepted in September for the spring start; in December/January for the summer start and April/May for the fall start.

2. 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.

3. What tracks can I apply for?

Areas of interest will be discussed in the interview. Applicants will be considered for a position in Ambulatory, Home Healthcare or Hospital. Positions will be offered based on the number of open positions and the applicant’s interests.

4. 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 names of individuals for references; one of which must be from a pediatric clinical faculty member. An online reference tool will be sent directly to the individuals indicated.
  • 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.

5. 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.

6. 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 5-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.

7. 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 Children’s employee benefits will be reviewed at the time of the interview.

8. If hired into the Nurse Residency Program, what shifts and/or hours will I work?

Hospital / Home Healthcare Nurse Residents

For the first 7 weeks, you will attend nurse resident classes and work with an area specific preceptor. You 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 2 clinical days with a preceptor and 2 scheduled days of class time. You are required to work full time during the first 2 years of the Nurse Residency program.

There are regularly scheduled co-hort meetings with monthly educational sessions that all nurse residents are expected to attend during their first year of employment.

Ambulatory Nurse Residents

For the first 6 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 3 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 2 years of the Nurse Residency Program.

9. What is “placement” in the Nurse Residency Program?

Each area will determine how many positions will be available in the nurse residency program.

  • Hospital/Home Healthcare nurse residents will be hired directly to the respective area based on their interests discussed in the interview process and the number of open positions available.
  • 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.

10. 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:

  • Specialty Pediatric Center nurse residents are eligible for shift differentials for weekend shifts.
  • Children’s Physician’s nurse residents at the blended-model clinic will be eligible for evening and weekend differentials.

11. 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 1 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 through Friday days, with some Saturdays and some extended hours until 7 p.m. in certain clinics. In the Children’s Physicians blended-model clinic (Council Bluffs), there are some shifts until 10 p.m.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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 7 weeks of clinical rotation or during any area-specific orientation.

Ambulatory Nurse Residents: You may not take personal leave during the first 6 weeks of clinical rotation or during any area-specific orientation.

15. 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. RNs who have 1 year or more of adult-care experience may be eligible for our Transition to Pediatrics Program.

16. 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.

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