Program Expectations

Requirements After Acceptance Into Nurse Residency Program

  • Report a Nursing GPA 3.0 or above on final transcripts from an accredited nursing school.
  • Residents must pass a health assessment, drug screen and criminal background check prior to employment.
  • Permanent Wisconsin RN License required before starting Nurse Residency Program.
  • NCLEX exam to be taken no later than two weeks prior to start date.
  • Nurse Residents are required to be BLS-certified. If your BLS certification will expire within 30 days of hire, you may register for BLS recertification through the UW Health Emergency Education Center or directly with the American Heart Association.
  • Associates Degree nurses hired are required to obtain their BSN within six (6) years of hire date.

Requirements During the Nurse Residency Program

  • Full-time (72-80 hours per bi-weekly) employment for the first year is expected.
  • Residents are expected to complete a full two years of employment at UW Health.
  • Prior to completion of the year-long Nurse Residency Program in your assigned clinical area you will not be eligible to transfer.
  • Residents are expected to fulfill obligations of a first-year member of the professional nursing staff on an assigned clinical service.
  • Residents are expected to develop and utilize mentor relationships.
  • The Nurse Residency Program includes multiple learning experiences in which Nurse Residents are expected to actively participate.

Scheduling

  • During the orientation part of the program, Nurse Residents will work based on their preceptor(s) schedule(s). Length of orientation is dependent on the clinical practice area and nurse resident needs.
  • Hospital-based Nurse Residents usually work a Day/Evening or Day/Night schedule. You may work all shifts during orientation for exposure in preparation for the shifts you may work upon completion of orientation. You may be assigned to work 8-, 10- or 12-hour shifts.
  • Some practice areas may include on-call requirements based on the operational needs of the individual area. Toward the end of your orientation, your manager will work with you to determine a Registered Nurse position for you based on current vacancies and the staffing needs of the clinical area. You may be moved into a Registered Nurse position in that clinical area or you may move into a position within a similar practice area.
  • Toward the end of your orientation, your manager will work with you to determine an RN position based on the current vacancies and the staffing needs of the clinical area. You may be moved into an RN position in the clinical area you were hired, or you may move into a position within a similar practice area.
  • Ambulatory Nurse Residents work Monday-Friday clinic hours.  Hours are based on the operational needs of the clinic and typically are between 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Nurse Residency Program?

The nurse residency is a prestigious 12-month program designed to help nurses move confidently into practice.

How often do you offer the Nurse Residency Program?

We have winter and summer start dates. Applications open August 1 each year for both programs. The application deadline for the winter program is October 15 and the deadline for the summer program is December 1.

Applications received after those dates will be reviewed for admission based on continued program openings.

What is the orientation period for the nurse residents?

The orientation period varies based on practice areas.

Which units are available for nurse residents?

We hire nurse residents into all inpatient units, the Emergency Department, Operating Rooms and several ambulatory settings. Unit descriptions are available for your review:

How does the placement work after being accepted into the program?

As part of our application process, we have applicants complete a clinical interest inventory. We try to place nurse residents in an area that interests them, though it cannot always be guaranteed.

Is there a time commitment after completing the program?

Nurse residents are expected to complete a full two years of employment at UW Health. Upon completion of the year-long residency, you will be eligible to apply to transfer to another unit for which you meet qualifications. Prior to completion of the year-long program on your assigned unit, you will not be eligible to transfer.

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

Nurse residents follow their preceptor(s) schedule during orientation.

  • For Inpatient Nurse Residents the schedule varies: day/evening, day/night, evening or night schedules. Most hospital-based units include a weekend and holiday rotation.
  • Ambulatory Nurse Residents work Monday-Friday clinic hours. Hours are based on the operational needs of the clinic and typically are between 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

If I am hired into the Nurse Residency Program, will I be paid and eligible for benefits?

Yes, nurse residents are paid and are eligible for benefits. View our benefits page for additional information on benefits of working at UW Health.

Do you offer shift and weekend differentials in the Nurse Residency Program?

Inpatient nurse residents receive a shift and/or weekend differential as appropriate. Ambulatory nurse residents work during standard business hours and do not receive a shift differential.

Is the Nurse Residency Program accredited?

Yes, our Nurse Residency Program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 2011. Through this rigorous process, UW Health has demonstrated that it meets national standards for its program to support new nurses during their first year of practice.

What does the program look like?

Nurse residents will attend monthly residency classes with their cohort. You will meet with clinical experts and problem-solve clinical challenges and learn more about resources to support your practice.

Eligibility Requirements for UW Health Nurse Residency Program

Is there a GPA requirement to apply for the Nurse Residency Program?

Yes, a Nursing GPA of 3.0 or above is required to be considered for the Nurse Residency Program.

How long after graduation may I start the program?

Candidates must start the program within six months of graduation. If you are graduating between August and December, you can only apply for the winter group. If you are graduating in April or May, you can only apply for the summer group.

Do I need to complete an additional application for the Nurse Residency Program?

Yes, there is a supplemental application that you need to complete as part of the online application. Please go to Applying to the Program for additional information.

May I have previous nursing experience before applying to the program?

No, we do not accept candidates who have already worked as a registered nurse.

Is the Nurse Residency Program open to all new graduate nurses?

The Nurse Residency Program is open to new graduate nurses with a baccalaureate degree or to nurses with an associate’s degree who are existing employees of UW Health.

I am a UW Health employee and just graduated with my Associates Degree in Nursing. What is the process for applying to the program?

UW Health employees who have recently graduated with their associate’s degree in nursing are eligible to apply to the Nurse Resident program. It is required to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing within six years of the start date.

What certifications are required before starting the program?

Nurse residents are required to be BLS-certified and provide a copy of the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers card prior to starting the program. We only accept certifications from American Red Cross or American Heart Association.

What are the requirements after being accepted into the Nurse Residency Program?

Nurse residents must pass the NCLEX and obtain a permanent Wisconsin RN license prior to their start date. They must also pass a health assessment, drug screening, education verification and criminal background check prior to starting employment with UW Health.

Contact Information

Our 12-month program is designed to help nurses move confidently into practice following graduation from an accredited nursing program.

For more information, call (608) 263-6500.

Applying to the Program

Applications for 2021 Winter and Summer Nurse Residency positions are currently open.

Applications for the Winter 2021 program are currently being accepted on an ongoing basis.

The Summer 2021 program application deadline is Dec. 1, 2020.

Please note: Nurse Resident Applicants can only apply to either the 2021 Ambulatory Program or the 2021 Inpatient Program. Prior to submitting your application, please review the Ambulatory and Inpatient program information and apply to the program that best aligns with your career goals as a Registered Nurse. Candidates will not be considered for both Ambulatory and Inpatient Nurse Residency positions.

Eligibility for the Nurse Residency Program:

  • Receive a Bachelor of Nursing Degree.
  • Nursing GPA 3.0 or higher.
  • Pass the NCLEX and have a WI RN License prior to start date in the Nurse Residency Program; (NCLEX exam to be scheduled no later than two (2) weeks prior to start date in nurse resident program).

*Please note you cannot work as a Registered Nurse prior to starting the program.

How to Apply

Please submit the following items:

  • Online application with resume and a transcript
  • Supplemental application
  • Goal statement

The goal statement is an essay that includes the following components:

  • What led you to nursing?
  • What have you learned in nursing school that you will bring to your nursing practice?
  • Why are you interested in the UW Health Nurse Residency Program?
  • What do you hope to achieve/accomplish in your first two years as a new nurse?

Please follow these steps to apply:

Step 1: Supplemental Application Materials

Complete and save the following forms on your computer. This needs to be completed prior to the online application.

2021 Inpatient Nurse Residency Supplemental Application (pdf)
2021 Inpatient Nurse Residency Supplemental Application (docx)

2021 Ambulatory Clinic Nurse Residency Supplemental Application (pdf)
2021 Ambulatory Clinic Nurse Residency Supplemental Application (docx)

Note: Microsoft Word version (docx) recommended for applicants using a Mac computer 

Please refer to the attachments below, which provides information on practice areas:

Step 2: Online Application

Attach the Supplemental Application:

  • Go to the UW Health online job search
  • Register, if you have not already created an account
  • Combine the supplemental application and unofficial transcripts into one (1) PDF document, and combine resume and goal statement in one (1) PDF document.
  • Current Employees must apply internally via Oracle Cloud. Home access is available: https://homeaccess.uwhealth.org/

Step 3: References

If you are selected as a finalist for a Nurse Resident position, the next step will be checking references. At UW Health, reference checking is completed online, using the SkillSurvey reference checking service.

  • Human Resources Recruitment will notify you, either via phone or e-mail, that we would like to begin checking your references.
  • An email will be sent to you from SkillSurvey that includes a link to its website.
  • You will need to enter the e-mail addresses, including name, title, name of organization of four (4) references. Two (2) – three (3) references should be from clinical nursing faculty and one (1) – two (2) from either a clinical nurse manager, preceptor or supervisor of past/current employment. If unable to enter this information within 48 hours of receipt of the initial email, please contact Human Resources at (608) 263-6500.
  • Each of your references will receive an e-mail from SkillSurvey directing them to complete a confidential online survey regarding your past clinical/work performance. 
  • To help expedite the process, Human Resources recommends that you contact your references in advance and encourage them to complete the online survey in a timely manner.
  • You should monitor the progress being made by your references by accessing the SkillSurvey website. Please contact those individuals who have not yet completed the reference survey.

Completed references are a tool used to evaluate and select the best candidate. Job offers are not extended to any candidate without completed references.


Residency Comments

“I have been very happy with the residency program. It has relieved the great anxiety of coming from a theory-based BSN program.”

“I am a better nurse because of the residency program. I love my job and attribute that in part to this program.”

“I feel this position would have been overwhelming had I not had the residency program to help me.”

Spotlight on Nursing

Nurse Residency Program

UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, participates in the Vizient®/American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Nurse Residency Program.

The Vizient®/AACN Nurse Residency Program at UW Health – recognized as an exemplary program by the Magnet® Commission – is part of a national initiative developed by leaders in the nursing profession across the country.

This prestigious 12-month program is designed to help nurses move confidently into practice following graduation from an accredited nursing program.

As a nurse resident, you’ll work through a series of learning and work experiences as you transition into your first professional nursing position in a UW Health patient care setting.

Accreditation

The employee-based Nurse Residency Program at UW Health is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Through this rigorous process, UW Health has demonstrated that it meets national standards for its program to support new nurses during their first year of practice.

There are currently 32 Nurse Residency Programs accredited through CCNE in the United States.

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