StaRN Program Will Prepare New Grads to Have Immediate Impact

July 02, 2018
StaRN logo

New Hanover Regional Medical Center is aggressively increasing our nursing workforce. Approximately 150 new graduate nurses will join the NHRMC team at orientation in July. These are highly qualified nurses with bright futures ahead of them.

To enable them to hit the floor running, NHRMC has hired StaRN (Specialty Training Apprenticeship for Registered Nurses) to lead five weeks of training for our 90 new med/surg nurses followed by 6-7 weeks of clinical time on the patient care unit. During this time, the new graduate nurses will get hands-on training with the pumps, beds and telemetry equipment that is all specific to NHRMC.

This training allows the new graduate nurses to learn the technical details without having to wait for a patient to present with a certain scenario. The StaRN program also reduces the time that NHRMC’s nurse preceptors spend teaching new nurses.

The new graduate nurses will participate in 30 patient care scenarios during simulation with interactive manikins as they learn more about patient communication and the NHRMC computer system, including Epic. The simulations are videotaped so the grads can understand where best practices were not utilized.

“This benefits our patients because StaRN provides staff who are ready to take care of patients,” said Karen Pleva, Assistant Vice President of Nursing Workforce Development. “After five weeks in the StaRN program, the new graduate nurses will know our equipment, have their certifications and be ready to learn the nitty gritty parts of the job.”

In the individualized program, new grads will have seven weeks with a preceptor, but that timeframe will be tailored to each nurse’s progress.

“Our preceptors do an amazing job with our new graduate nurses, and we will always need them to teach them about pace and flow and the thousands of details you just can’t learn until you’re on the floor,” said Mary Ellen Bonczek, Chief Nursing Executive. “But StaRN gives our new graduate nurses five weeks of preparation that will accelerate their integration into patient care.”

The StaRN program has been successful at other hospitals across the nation, and if NHRMC experiences positive results, the program could be expanded to other disciplines here.