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Critical Care Nursing

At Cook Children's, we believe that preparing our nurses to provide compassionate, family-centered care and education to children and their families during some of their most challenging times is of the utmost importance.

This is why we have a track designed specifically to support future critical care nurses.

Residents in this track will provide complex care in rotations through the pediatric intensive care unit, cardiac intensive care unit and stepdown areas, neonatal intensive care unit, and the emergency department.

Applicant eligibility

  • Graduated from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program (BSN) or an entry-level master's of nursing program (MSN). Candidates graduating with an Associates degree only or from an Associate Degree-to-BSN who have worked as a licensed registered nurse and graduates from LPN-to-BSN are not eligible to apply.
  • Must be applying to serve in his or her first professional nursing role and cannot work as a registered nurse prior to the start of the residency.
  • Must pass the NCLEX prior to the start of the residency.
  • Applicants who have previously applied to the nurse residency program are ineligible to reapply.
  • Applicants may only apply to one of the three tracks.

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

Applicant requirements

All of the documents that you are sending must be submitted together in one e-mail to nurse.residency@cookchildrens.org except for official transcripts which must be mailed. Please do not mail resumes, essays, or unofficial transcripts.

☐ Complete the online application for Nurse Resident.

☐ Submit a transcript from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program you are attending or attended. Both official and unofficial transcripts are accepted. Requirements for transcripts include:

  • The transcript must reflect classes in progress or degree awarded.
  • Official transcripts only may be mailed to:
    • Nurse residency
      Department of Organizational & Professional Development
      Cook Children's Health Care System
      901 7th Avenue
      Fort Worth, Texas 76104

☐ Submit an essay of no more than 1500 words, using the most current APA format, covering these topics:

  • Describe why you wish to be a Cook Children's nurse resident
  • Describe your goals and expectations at the completion of the nurse residency.
  • Explain how you demonstrate two of the Cook Children's values, which include caring, safety, integrity, collaboration, innovation and giving
  • Describe why you feel you are the best fit for the track you selected.

☐ Complete the top portion of two Letters of Recommendation and forward them to your selected clinical evaluators. Requirements for letters of recommendation include:

  • At least one of the letters of recommendation must be from a faculty member familiar with your clinical performance.
  • The other may be from any person who can attest to your clinical knowledge and skill.
  • Letters must be returned by clinical evaluators directly to Cook Children's Nurse Residency Program.
  • Confirm that your letters have been received by the Nurse Residency Program Assistant before the deadline.

☐ If you are a current Cook Children's employee, in addition you must submit the Leadership Reference from your current supervisor.

Selection process

A committee of nurse managers, nurse educators and the nurse residency managers will evaluate applications and select candidates for interviews. If you are selected for an interview, a Nurse Residency representative will call to arrange an appointment.

Timeline

  • Deadline: Thursday, September 28, 2017 5:00 PM Central Standard Time
  • Interview Notification: Week of October 2nd
  • Interview Week: October 16-20
  • Selection of Residents and Notification: October 30, 2017

Program details

The Pediatric Nurse Residency is a 12-month program divided into two segments, Phase I and Phase II. Key components of our Pediatric Nurse Residency Program include class curriculum and clinical experience.

Phase I

Mentoring

At the beginning of the program, a mentor committed to supporting new staff members is paired with nurse residents. That mentor is a personal professional contact, coach, and resource throughout the residency year.

Accredited class curriculum and didactic content

  • During Phase I nurse residents attend class for one 8-hour day every two weeks.
  • Class curriculum includes facilitated debriefings, interactive case studies, high-fidelity simulation experiences and discussions with a variety of interdisciplinary colleagues with specialty expertise.
  • Class curriculum is congruent with the requirements of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which accredits the residency program.
  • Throughout the year, nurse residents regularly participate in debriefing, free-form discussions facilitated by the nurse residency manager. In the discussions, they address the stresses and challenges of the nursing profession: professional boundaries, stress management, self-care, conflict resolutions, and coping with grief

Clinical experience

  • During the six months of Phase I, the nurse rotates to at least four different clinical units, relevant to the selected clinical track.
  • Each nurse resident works with a staff nurse "unit guide." Nurse residents benefit from the knowledge and guidance of an experienced nurse in the clinical setting as they deliver patient care together.
  • Individualized training emphasizes critical thinking skills, leadership, communication skills, evidence based practice, patient safety, and professional career development.
  • Our residents receive over 1800 hours of individual precepted clinical experience.
  • Medical-Surgical and Subspecialty Nursing track includes opportunities in a variety of medical surgical, rehabilitative, neurological, psychiatric and oncology nursing units.

Shadow week

  • Phase I concludes with Shadow Week during which nurse residents spend ten half days with our "Partners in Caring" such as pharmacy, respiratory therapy, radiology, laboratory and many others.
  • The purpose of Shadow Week is to increase the new nurse's understanding of the contributions that these professionals make to patient care, as well as gain insight into their challenges collaborating care with nursing.

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

Phase II

Unit assignment

Phase II begins with each nurse resident receiving a final unit assignment. A matching process, determines final placement of residents in open positions after considering all three of these components:

  • Nurse residents have the opportunity to express their preferences for a permanent unit.
  • Nurse managers, nurse educators, and staff nurses who worked with the residents provide input into the "fit" of each resident for specific units.
  • We consider the organizational needs (where there are openings for new nurses).

Class experience

  • During the six months of Phase II, nurse residents continue to attend class as a cohort one 8-hour day per month.
  • In addition to the nurse residency classes, unit specific classes are provided for each clinical specialty area through unit-specific orientation.
  • Nurse Residents participate in an ECG Workshop, Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and after completion of 1800 clinical hours, attend the Pediatric Nursing Certification Review Course

Clinical experience

  • Upon placement on a permanent unit, each resident is assigned a unit preceptor and begins unit-specific orientation.

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

Testimonials

Support

"I love that the residency gives you this incredible group of people to continuously support you. It’s hard to describe how stressful your first year of nursing is. I felt like I was questioning myself all the time. Within the residency we have a group of peers to talk to that are feeling the exact same way and are a constant reassurance that we are not experiencing this on our own. The residency managers always had their doors open and were always ready to talk! I cannot imagine starting my nursing career without this support."
Rose Carrington-Pratt, Tarleton State University, TX

"Every seasoned nurse tells you to prepare for the difficult first year following graduation of nursing school. However, spending my first year out of nursing school in the Cook Children's Nurse Residency has made that transition so smooth. The residency is all about peer support and strong mentorship. Throughout the residency, I never felt like I was alone because I had deep friendships with fellow residents who were also processing through the first year of real-life nursing. I also had seasoned nurse mentors from all over the hospital who invested in me as a person. They helped to give me a toolbox of knowledge and skills specialized to pediatric patients that one cannot learn in a textbook. It is amazing how many people have shaped me and given to me over the last year. I have learned more, laughed more, and loved what I do more than I ever thought I would."
Lauren Frey, RN, BSN, University of Mary-Hardin Baylor

Opportunity

"I love the nurse residency because it launched my career in nursing in an amazing direction with incredible support. The residency also gave me a well-rounded view of the hospital and how the hospital works as a whole. You only get one chance to start off your nursing career, one chance to propel you as a nurse throughout the rest of your career. Choose this first step wisely, as residencies usually are only offered to new graduates. The Cook Children's residency is second to none and an amazing experience that will launch your career like no other program out there."
Laura Posluszny, Texas Christian University

"My experience as a nurse resident built the foundation for my nursing career. The preparation received through classroom learning, clinical rotations, mentor support, and leadership engagement continues to help me today. Now, I have the unique privilege of being a manager of this wonderful program. I see nurse residents enter the organization excited, nervous, and occasionally intimidated. A year later, I watch enthusiastic, competent, and confident pediatric nurses graduate from the program. These nurse residents continue to make an impact throughout the organization in various roles, councils, and leadership positions. This program provides success and remarkable opportunities."
Amy Kotter, MSN, RN, CPN, CPEN, Nurse Residency Manager

Knowledge

"The Nurse Residency provides a unique opportunity to capture the vision and scope of Cook Children’s as an organization. The classes that we take in the Nurse Residency program have helped me improve my assessment and critical thinking skills. As a group, we would examine case studies, research best practices, play games, and discuss topics that are specific to the pediatric patient. It is very helpful to gather insight from our fellow residents about their experiences and to learn from each other. The program is very comprehensive and I feel like after a year, I am more competent as a nurse than if I would have just started work in a unit and not had the experience of all the residency has to offer."
Angela Stephens, University of Texas at Arlington

Retention

"Since its inception, in my years as a manager of the nurse residency, I watched over 300 new graduate nurses blossom into confident, competent pediatric nurses in multiple subspecialties. I walk all over the medical center and I am in awe of the number of smiling faces of former residents educating and mentoring other new nurses, nursing students and taking charge of units. It is especially gratifying that 95% of former residents are still here because we've learned that the first year of nursing does not have to be one crisis after another. Rather, with support it can be a very exciting learning adventure!"
Dr. Ann Smith, PhD, CPNP, CNE, Nurse Residency Manager

Right place

"My specific track was important to me because I love working with critical care patients, but was unsure of what I really wanted. When I first entered the tracks, I thought my heart was set on working in the neonatal intensive care unit, but after rotating I found a true passion for cardiac intensive care. Without the residency tracks, I may not have found that passion."
Jasmine Cobb, Texas Christian University

Confidence

"The nurse residency provided me with opportunities to see things from a different perspective. In the program you have to be adaptable, easy-going, and willing to do things outside your comfort zone. These qualities translate over into the way you work as a team on your unit. You are expected to be flexible and willing to do what is needed for your patients, parents, and staff. During the nurse residency the various lectures and class activities not only challenged my nursing but also provided me confidence in my assessments. I feel comfortable approaching doctors and interacting with other disciplines largely because of the confidence the Nurse Residency Program gave me."
Mackenzie Schuler, Texas Christian University

Frequently asked questions

Can I apply for more than one clinical track?
You may apply for only one clinical track.

How many hours per week do the nurse residents work?
This is a full-time position that requires 68-80 hours per two-week pay period for the full 52 weeks, including weekends. The number of hours per week change to accommodate both didactic and clinical time.

Will I be working weekends and holidays?
Nurse Residents are full-time professional nurse employees. Thus, the schedule will include some weekends and holidays. Unit nurse managers and nurse educators collaborate to develop a schedule that best meets the resident's learning needs during the rotation. Generally, the nurse resident's schedule will be the same as the staff nurse mentor's schedule to whom the resident is assigned.

Do I get vacation time during my residency?
Residents receive the same vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave allowance as all new nurses.

What benefits does the residency program offer?
All health care and retirement benefits offered any new hire apply to those selected for Cook Children's Pediatric Nurse Residency Program.

What is a nurse resident hourly pay rate?
Human Resources has the exact figures and will discuss pay and benefits with you.

What types of scrubs are allowed?
You may wear any child-friendly, professional-looking scrub with close-toe shoes.

Questions regarding nurse residency program

Direct inquires to nurse.residency@cookchildrens.org. You can email us or call Nancy Murphy at 682-885-7596 Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 4:30 pm CST.

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