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Medical-Surgical and Subspecialty Nursing

Would you like to be challenged caring for children with a wide age-range and a variety of exciting and complex diagnoses? Do you enjoy interacting with children and families and educating them about their health care needs? You will care for patients with varying diagnoses such as hematology disorders, childhood cancer, endocrine issues, respiratory diseases, behavioral health issues and much more. This track is designed to give you the broadest possible exposure to pediatric nursing and challenge your critical thinking skills.

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.

"The nurse residency program provided me with the most rewarding and beneficial experiences I could have ever asked for. As a new nurse, the residency program is the perfect transition from school to practicing as an RN. One of my favorite aspects of the residency is the opportunity to work in many different areas throughout the hospital. This enabled me to understand how the hospital works as a whole and made me realize how important everyone's role is. Last but definitely not least, the nurses in my cohort were the best support system and will forever be some of my greatest friends." Jessica Deuel Cohort 13, Texas Christian University

Applicant requirements

Complete the online application for nurse resident.

Submit an official or unofficial transcript from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program you are attending or attended. The transcript must reflect classes in progress or degree awarded.

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

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

All of the documents that you are sending must be submitted together in one e-mail to

  • Complete the top portion of two Letters of Recommendation and forward them to your selected clinical evaluators. Have them return the letter directly to Cook Children's Nurse Residency Program. 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. Please 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.

Unofficial or official transcripts are accepted. 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

(Please do not mail essays, resumes or unofficial transcripts.)

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.


  • Deadline: Thursday, June 22 at 5 PM Central Standard Time
  • Interview Notification: Week of June 26th
  • Interview Week: July 10-14
  • Selection of Residents and Notification: July 24
  • Start of Residency: October 2, 2017

"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

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

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

"I greatly benefited from the small group environment and debriefing with the other residents. You experience a lot of emotions during that first year and it was very beneficial to have a close cohort of people who were experiencing the same things. I felt that we all grew together into the nurses that we are today. It's still very exciting to see the residents throughout the hospital and share new stories and experiences" Stephen Sims, RN, BSN, CPN, Nurse Resident Cohort 8, Graduate of University of Texas Austin

Class curriculum

  • 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

"I feel that the nurse residency served as a great transition from being a novice nurse to a more competent professional. It's a great balance between cultivating autonomy while still having guidance through mentorship and academia. By the end of the residency, I felt that my commitment to the profession was strengthened and my decision making skills at the bedside were more developed." Jibril Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CPN, Nurse Resident Cohort 9, Graduate of University of Texas Arlington

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
  • Medical-Surgical and Subspecialty Nursing track includes opportunities in a variety of medical surgical, rehabilitative, neurological, psychiatric and oncology nursing units.

During Phase I rotations, 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 together they deliver patient care. This 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

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 program
Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

"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

Phase II

  • 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).

"I found the social support from the residency group and managers to be one of the most beneficial parts of the program. I was instantly connected to a network of new nurses who were sharing many of the same experiences and emotions that come with the first year as a Pediatric RN. Furthermore, the residency managers were easily accessible and available to act as guides and mentors in navigating the pediatric nursing environment. I attribute much of the positive experience I had as a first year RN to the residency program." Valerie Noce, RN, BSN, CPN, Nurse Resident Cohort 10, Graduate of New York University

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.
  • 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 program
Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

"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

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.

"I really love that the classes are interactive, creative, and fun. It's been great connecting our clinical experiences with the things we have been learning in class. I love the personalized and individual support I get from the residency program. It's a very nurturing environment. I love having a buddy in the cohort above me. She's shared a lot of her experiences and advice with me. Having unit guides and a mentor too have really helped with the strong community feel of the hospital. It's nice to walk around and see familiar faces and to see so many fellow residents all over the hospital! This residency is one-of-a kind. I loved the opportunity to rotate through the different units and have learned so much from everywhere I've been." Christine Madubueze Cohort 15, Duke University

Questions regarding Nurse Residency Program

Direct inquires to 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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