RN Residency Program - Adventist HealthCare

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RN Residency Program

Adventist HealthCare promotes the growth of professional nursing practice. Your journey from advanced beginner nurse to competent professional is supported through our yearlong residency program. It is another way that we advocate for nurses as informed contributors who have the opportunity to make a lasting impact within our organization.

Our Nurse Residency Program, designed for new BSN graduates, prepares you to be successful as a full partner on our health care team. This program provides a structured and progressive series of experiences to empower you to function autonomously within your nursing specialty. It also provides a platform for continued professional development. This innovative opportunity includes individualized learning, mentorship and peer support, leadership concepts, and heightened visibility within the Adventist HealthCare System.

Upon completion of the Nurse Residency Program, you will have the knowledge and ability to:

  • Develop effective decision making skills related to clinical judgment and performance
  • Provide clinical nursing leadership at the point of care
  • Incorporate research based evidence linked to practice outcomes into patient care
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, academic medical center environment

The Nurse Residency at Adventist HealthCare participates in the UHC/AACN Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program™ curriculum, which utilizes Patricia Benner’s well-known theoretical framework from her book From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. The program includes an emphasis on:

  • Levels of nursing expertise
  • Value of experience in growing nursing competencies
  • Decision-making from a holistic viewpoint
  • Analytical thinking that leads to intuitive understanding

As a Nurse Resident, you will receive a full salary and an excellent benefits package, as well as dedicated preceptors and faculty for guidance and support throughout the program.

How to Apply

Only a limited number of residency opportunities are offered at one time. These will be awarded to the most highly qualified new graduate BSN nurses with the greatest potential for professional development and achievement. We encourage you to apply as soon as you determine your interest in our Nurse Residency Program.

Application Criteria

Minimum requirements for new graduates hired into the Nurse Residency Program include the following:

  • Graduation from an accredited* BSN or MSN-entry level program within the previous six months
  • No prior work experience as an RN or LPN
  • GPA: 3.0 is required; 3.5 is preferred
  • Senior practicum or Capstone in specialty area is preferred
  • Must be licensed in the state of Maryland as an RN (or other Compact state per Maryland Board of Nursing guidelines) at the start of the Residency Program (NOTE: you do not to be licensed when you apply to the program, just at the start of the program)
  • American Heart Association BLS
  • Upon graduation from the program (12 months in length), RN agrees to a commitment to work full time (0.9 or higher) for the equivalent of 3,744 hours

Adventist HealthCare runs the Nurse Residency Program twice a year, with a Winter Cohort (typically starts in February) and a Summer Cohort (typically starts in July/August).

Application Process

Adventist HealthCare maintains a rigorous application process to ensure that we invite the best and brightest new graduates to join us. This multi-step process is outlined below in order for you to plan your submission strategy prior to applying.

  1. Check our job postings for “New Grad RN Residency Program” with your desired specialty area of practice (Clinical areas may vary seasonally, depending upon the staffing needs of Adventist HealthCare).
    • Residency programs are at the following locations:
      • Washington Adventist Hospital
      • Shady Grove Medical Center
      • Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation
      • Adventist Behavioral Health
  2. Complete the Adventist HealthCare online application form.
  3. Once you complete your application, you will be contacted by the nurse recruiter via email. Once you have received instructions, you may submit (via PDF attachments, please) your Professional Portfolio, which will include:
    • Cover letter
      • Reason for applying
      • Expectations of the program
      • Why you are interested in working on the unit you are applying for
      • Why you should be chosen for the New Graduate Nurse Residency and how you will make a difference in our patient’s lives
    • Resume – please email a stand-alone copy and also copy it into the application. Include the following:
      • Your current GPA
      • Anticipated graduated date
      • Name of your school and the program type (BSN, entry-level MSN)
      • Where you are completing your senior practicum (if known)
    • Clinical Narrative (View Additional Information)

There will be numerous steps to complete for consideration for this program. Please monitor your email/spam folders for correspondence.

NOTE: Apply only to the residency program that you are interested in. Multiple applications do not increase your selection chances.

* ACEN (formally known as NLN) or CCNE accredited nursing program

Frequently Asked Questions

Nurse Residency

What is a Nurse Residency?

The Nurse Residency is a structured twelve-month program that facilitates your transition from advanced beginner nurse to competent professional. The program is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and ongoing support, utilizing such strategies as classroom learning, seminars, case studies, small group discussion, simulation, precepted clinical practice, evidence-based practice exploration/projects, and personal interactions with expert facilitators.

Is this a paid Nurse Residency?

Yes. In fact, this is not at all like a medical student’s residency where you put in time for educational purposes and then leave. At Adventist HealthCare, all Nurse Residents are selected to fill permanent staff nurse positions on the hiring unit. You will receive a full RN salary and comprehensive benefits beginning the day you start New Employee Orientation.

What shift will I be working?

As a Nurse Resident, your offer letter will indicate a varied shift, and you will most likely be assigned initially to a day shift rotation. Once your training period is complete, you may be assigned to days or nights; however, you will have the opportunity to apply to other available full-time shifts on your unit, as they become available. Your full-time status must be maintained for the entire year of the Nurse Residency and through the defined time period following completion of the Residency.

What uniforms will I need?

Uniform colors are specific to the various units and will be discussed during your interview. While a few units/hospitals provide scrubs, for most areas you will be responsible for the purchase and care of uniforms and/or scrubs.

I already have my license. Must I complete a Nurse Residency in order to be hired at Adventist HealthCare?

Yes, all new BSN graduates are required to be licensed and complete our New Graduate Nurse Residency program. If you have a minimum 12 months of acute care (hospital) RN experience, you may apply for a staff nurse position and potentially be hired without the Residency. However, more experienced nurses will present strong competition for those positions.

Do I need to already be licensed when the Residency begins?

Yes. The start dates provide sufficient time for passing NCLEX prior to the beginning of the residency.

What happens if I fail boards before the Residency begins?

Unfortunately, this does sometimes happen. If so, our policy states that your position will be filled by the next person on the waiting list, and you may or may not be eligible to apply for the next cohort, depending on when you graduated. So give it your very best shot, and please let us know immediately if you do not pass. Conversely, if you are on the waiting list, we advise you to pursue other opportunities, but know that something could still become available here.

Is there a minimum GPA for acceptance?

Because the Residency is an extension of the studying/learning experience, a GPA of 3.0 and higher is required and 3.5 or better is preferred.

Is a BSN required in order to be hired as a Nurse Resident?

You need to graduate from an accredited BSN or MSN- entry level program in order to be considered for the Nurse Residency.


How difficult is the application process?

While the process is straight-forward and not difficult, it can seem overwhelming at first glance. We do not apologize for seeking the best possible nurses, and in order to succeed in finding them, our requirements may be more than expected. To help you decide whether to spend the time and energy applying, and to make the process more manageable if you do, we break it down into these basic steps:

  • Application – estimated time to complete is 1 hour
  • Professional Portfolio – estimated time to complete is 2-3 hours Skill
  • Survey Reference Check – estimated time to initiate it is 10 minutes
  • Video Interview Component – estimated time to complete is less than 30 minutes

When can I apply for a Graduate Nurse Residency at Adventist HealthCare?

For the winter (February) cohort – we typically post positions by the middle of September. For the Summer (July/August) cohort – we typically post positions by the middle of February.

Once I apply, when will I know whether I am chosen for an interview?

You will receive frequent email communication from the time you applied through the interview process. Once all the interviews are scheduled and completed, you will receive notification one way or another.

Which email address should I provide?

Please create an email address that is not affiliated with your school, and check it often. The reason for this is that sometimes your school’s web portal may be too small and/or security may be too high to receive our communications. Plus, should we need to contact you after you graduate, your school address may be invalid. Check your email frequently. Please document and double-check the spelling of this non-school email address on both your application and on your Resume.

I was an Extern last year. Do I need to reapply?

Yes, you will need to go through the entire application process, and put forth your best effort to secure an interview. Applications, resumes, and cover letters are still required. After you apply, you may begin submitting your Portfolio (see website for details).

If I submit my Portfolio immediately, do I have a better chance of being hired?

As soon as we receive your Portfolio, we will add your application, your Skill Survey, and a cover page to it. Once the application period has ended, we provide the Nurse Managers with Portfolios to review, so it is helpful for us, and advantageous to you if we receive it early and are ready to forward it quickly. Please do not wait until the last week, at the very latest, we will anticipate receiving your entire portfolio within three days of closing the posting.

May I send all my information by US Postal Service?

Please do not. We prefer to receive everything electronically. It is recommended that you email the entire application portfolio simultaneously via individual PDF attachments. This ensures the efficient receipt and storage of all documents. Please identify yourself on all correspondence, as we typically receive several hundred applications.

Do I need written references from my professors?

Thankfully, NO, as we use a company called Skill Survey to perform electronic reference checks. You will receive an email with detailed instructions on how to complete this easy, on-line process.

Do I need to be licensed when I apply?

No. You need to be licensed as a RN at the start of the Nurse Residency Program, but you do not need to be licensed when you apply.


Am I guaranteed an interview if I apply?

Not everyone who applies will be granted a face-to-face interview. Managers will decide how many interviews to schedule based on their available positions. They will decide who to interview based on the Professional Portfolio, which you may submit electronically once your application is completed.

When will interviews be conducted?

We hire students from all over the country and they are all evaluated on the same criteria. With that said, managers must evaluate the probability and the degree to which a nurse who relocates to Maryland will acclimate successfully and thrive in the Maryland/DC Metropolitan area and at one of our hospitals within Adventist HealthCare. To reiterate, our Graduate Nurse Residents do come from many different states.

If I am not local, might I be reimbursed for my travel expenses if I come to interview? Do you provide relocation assistance if I am hired?

Unfortunately, the answer to both questions is no. Your travel to interview and/or relocation costs are not reimbursed.

On what criteria is the hiring decision made?

In general, our manager look at your overall fit with the Adventist HealthCare mission and values and how you will (as a graduate of the Residency Program) make a difference in our patient’s experience. Your interview score, past experience, clinical narrative, and references will all be factored in to this decision.

What can I do to prepare for the interview?

Plan Ahead - Research Adventist HealthCare and the position if possible. Review your work experiences, and be ready to support past career and school accomplishments with specific information targeted toward the needs of the organization.

Dress appropriately - This is a competitive job interview. Dress professionally, preferably in a suit.

Be on time - It is best to arrive at the interview area 5 minutes before the scheduled interview time. Arrive early for parking and finding your way to the interview.

What if I can’t make the interview in person?

We can potentially accommodate a virtual interview, although our preference is a face-to-face interview.

Do you have any advice for the interview?

  • Awareness: An interview is a two-way exchange of information. In addition to researching Adventist HealthCare, demonstrate your interest by formulating questions in advance to ask the interviewer.
  • Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Demonstrate that you want the job with your interest in the position, and in that particular nursing unit.
  • Positive Attitude: In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers or professors. Listen and adapt, be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to details, as they may offer helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation.
  • Ability to Relate: Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and to Adventist HealthCare. Focus mostly on achievements that would be relevant to the position. Provide answers that are specific to the questions.
  • Be yourself!
  • NOTE: Request a business card after the interview, and get the email addresses of all the interviewers before leaving. Nurse Recruitment does not have the resources to investigate and give you that information afterward.

After the Interview

When will selections be made?

We anticipate that selections will be made by December for the February cohort and by early May for the July cohort.

Will I be contacted whether I get the position or not?

Those who are being offered a position will be contacted first. It may take a couple of weeks for those who are not offered a position to hear that news definitively. We apologize in advance for the delay, but if offers are declined, we are still working through the list of possible hires, and will not know the final outcome until later.

If I am not chosen, will I be offered feedback as to why, and on how to improve my interview skills?

While we would like to provide these services, it is simply not feasible with the number of applications we receive. If you are invited to interview, you are obviously a very good candidate, and most likely the decision was made on very small differences. Perhaps an instructor at your school is a good resource.

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