Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Carol Goss

Committee Member

Dr. Kim Tharp-Barrie


PURPOSE: The purpose of this evaluation project was to determine the effectiveness of the Norton Healthcare new graduate nurse residency program on retention and engagement of newly- licensed registered nurses.

METHODS: This study was a retrospective pre-test, post-test design of the impact of the nurse residency program on turnover and engagement for the participants in the first year of the Norton Healthcare Nurse Residency Program. Engagement was evaluated using the Utrecht Work & Well-being Survey (UWES). Return on investment was also evaluated for the first year of the program. The sample included 791 newly-licensed registered nurses hired between January 2014 and October 2015 and 232 newly-licensed registered nurses that participated in the nurse residency program in 2016.

RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in turnover from the control group to the nurse residency program group (14.0% vs. 3.5%; p < .001). Scores on the UWES for nurse residency program participants demonstrated a statistically significant correlation between months of work experience and the engagement factor, vigor (p = .04). The estimated turnover/replacement cost for newly-licensed registered nurses at Norton Healthcare was calculated to be $44,085.61 per nurse.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated the value of the nurse residency program related to decreasing turnover and promoting engagement and provided insight in the cost/benefit ratio for the program. This study showed the necessity for support of the newly-licensed nurse transition to practice and the significance of using the nurse residency program as the vehicle for support.