Training Program for Nurses in the Works

Hoping it will attract new nursing blood to Central Texas and keep it here, Seton Family of Hospitals announces formation of Versant RN Residency program for recent nursing-school graduates

Saying they'll need an additional 2,000 registered nurses over the next 15 years, officials with Seton Family of Hospitals (which includes the city-owned Brackenridge Hospital) announced on Tuesday the formation of the Versant RN Residency program for recent nursing-school graduates, which it hopes will attract new blood to Central Texas and keep it here. The program's creation comes at a crucial time in the health-care industry – the nation is in the ninth year of a nursing shortage. According to the American Hospital Association, of 168,000 vacant hospital positions nationwide, 126,000 are for nurses. The estimated turnover for nurses is as high as 60% within the first year. The problem is compounded here in Central Texas, where our explosive population growth is outstripping the region's health-care infrastructure. The Versant program was originally created in 1998 at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, where Seton officials say it was successful in quickly bringing new nurses up to speed in their high-stress profession. While residency programs are standard for doctors, few exist for nurses. Versant will consist of 25% classroom instruction and 75% hands-on training for 18 weeks. Seton will offer Versant three times a year: September, January, and June; applicants should call 324-1776 or go to www.seton.net/nursecareers.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Versant RN Residency program, Seton Family of Hospitals

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