Sixteen nurses recently took part in graduation ceremonies as the first cohort of Ministry Health Care nurses to complete the SOAR-RN Program. The SOAR-RN (Supporting Onboarding and Retention of Rural Nurses) Rural Nurse Residency program is a federally-funded program designed to assist new nurses meet the challenges of their new role.
Provided through a partnership among academic and rural practice partners, SOAR-RN is designed to ease new nurses’ transition to practice and acquire the knowledge and skills to autonomously deliver quality care in rural hospitals. By providing training programs for preceptors and a rural-specific nursing curriculum, new nurses are provided with the necessary psycho-social and professional development/educational supports to meet the role challenges of rural nursing practice.
Ministry Health Care is one of three health care partners in the nation selected by the Marquette University College of Nursing in Milwaukee to participate in a grant-funded project to create an evidence-based rural nurse residency program. The grant award will provide programs for rural health care networks in Illinois and Idaho in addition to Ministry.
The project benefits new nurses’ transitions to practice and retention in rural hospitals through an alliance of rural-based health care systems or collaborative networks and academic organizations. By educating experienced nurses to serve as preceptors and mentors, as well as developing a rural nurse residency curriculum consisting of monthly seminars, the program is expected to improve patient care and help create more positive work environments that lead to quality care.
The grant is intended to address the unique challenges that new nurses experience in rural hospitals and to offer access to resources that provide longer-term guidance to support new nurses.
The first graduates of this program include Susan Barber, Paige Ciszewski, Stephanie Chiapuzio, Brennan Cook, Ashley Draeger, Wendy Hoffman, Amanda Kent, Sarah Keuer, Ashley Klismith, Leann Meyer, Tim Moore, Kerry Nutting , Olga Peterson, Kristen Stodola, Erin Tuyls and Nicole Voigt.