Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Nursing (Graduate)

First Advisor

Louann B. Zinsmeister

Second Advisor

Kim Fenstermacher


Background: New nurses face many challenges when starting their jobs, leading to job vacancy if the challenges are not addressed. Turnover can be costly for an institution due to training costs. Nurse residency programs have become more common to reduce turnover rates. Additionally, nurse residency programs provide support and professional development opportunities as new nurses’ transition into their new positions. Mentorship, preceptorship and the duration of orientation are all components of nurse residency programs that are necessary to evaluate. The purpose of the paper is to investigate how nurse residency programs affect retention rates of new nurses after one year.

Methods: After a literature search using Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature and PubMed databases, seven of fifty-five articles were selected for appraisal. The articles included were available by full-text, peer reviewed and discussed nurse residency programs, retention rates, Baccalaureate Degree prepared nurses. The articles were critically appraised using the John Hopkins Evidence Based Nursing model and guidelines.

Results: The implementation of a nurse residency program increased retention rates among new nurses after the first year of the program. The nurse residency programs with components such as mentorship, preceptorship and debriefing helped to increase retention rates, ultimately having a positive impact of the financial state of an institution.

Implications: Creating programs with didactic and clinical learning methods with mentors and preceptors is needed to create a successful nurse residency program to ultimately increase retention rates.


This is an evidence-based practice capstone project submitted to the faculty of the graduate program in nursing in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Science in Nursing.