UCH receives prestigious nursing designation

By Staff

The University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is among the first hospitals in the United States to receive national accreditation of its post-baccalaureate nurse residency program. The program facilitates graduate nurses to develop advanced clinical judgment, and safe, quality care through this one-year residency program.

UCH and the University of Kansas Hospital are the first programs to receive accreditation. The standards were approved in 2008 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

"This is another example of the excellence of the nursing staff at UCH. Our nurses continue to set the standards for nursing that others follow," said Bruce Schroffel, president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital. "This program takes our nurses to a higher level of skill and knowledge."

The UCH post-baccalaureate nurse residency program was established to improve patient care by providing support and additional training to new baccalaureate nursing graduates. In addition to developing clinical skills, nurses in the UCH residency program also gain enhanced knowledge about patient safety, leadership, communication and evidence-based practice. The program includes 12 to 24 weeks of mentored clinical work on a hospital unit.

The journey to the CCNE accreditation began in 1998 when Colleen Goode was the chief nursing officer at UCH. "The program is extremely valuable," said Goode. "Nurses need residency experience just as physicians, pharmacists and others do, and nursing schools can't teach all there is to know about critical care, technology, advances in medications and regulatory requirements."

In March, UCH received its third designation from the American Nurses Credential Center's (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®. The four-year designation recognizes continuing excellence in nursing and overall patient care at UCH.

"Education, training and support are crucial to develop the skills critical to patient safety and quality of care we expect at UCH," said Carolyn Sanders, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient services. "To receive this accreditation right after our third Magnet designation confirms what we have believed for quite some time. We have the best nurses in Colorado and the country."

Jo Ann DelMonte, residency coordinator for the past eight years, said the accreditation advances professional nursing practice, representing a strong partnership between UCH and the University of Colorado College of Nursing, through the University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) National Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Programs, which is the sponsor of the national nurse residency program.