In a momentous achievement, New York City Mayor Eric Adams celebrated the graduation of 5,000 newly registered nurses (RNs) who have completed the Citywide Nurse Residency Program since its inception in 2019.
This groundbreaking initiative has not only transformed the lives of thousands of New Yorkers but also invigorated the city’s healthcare system. The program, the first of its kind to be led by a city, offers comprehensive on-the-job training and support for recently graduated and newly hired RNs. It has been implemented in over 28 healthcare facilities throughout the city and has become a vital component in the training and retention of nurses, saving hospitals millions of dollars. Furthermore, it has played a pivotal role in guiding new nurses through their early careers, with an astonishing retention rate exceeding 96 percent at participating NYC Health + Hospitals (H+H) campuses, significantly surpassing the national average of 84 percent.
Mayor Adams marked this significant milestone as the first stop on his “Working People’s Tour,” a testament to his commitment to job creation and fueling New York City’s economic recovery.
The city recently achieved a historic milestone by recovering all of the nearly one million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic, with a total of 4.7 million jobs.
The Citywide Nurse Residency Program’s success is also a significant step towards realizing Mayor Adams’ “Working People’s Agenda,” aimed at supporting 30,000 current and aspiring nurses over the next five years as they enter the nursing workforce, sustain their careers, and climb the professional ladder.
Speaking about the achievement, Mayor Adams said, “As we continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re doing everything we can to bolster our healthcare system, and that starts with supporting the backbone of the industry: our nurses. By providing hospitals with the resources they need to train and retain their nursing staff, our Citywide Nurse Residency Program has allowed us to make significant strides in improving healthcare for New Yorkers and making New York City work for working people.
“As we saw in 2020, nurses are essential to keeping New Yorkers healthy, and our investment to help nurses go from the classrooms to a hospital room will help keep New Yorkers healthy and prepared for the future.”
Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom emphasized the importance of the program, stating, “Nurses are often the first people you see and one of the last with whom you interact when visiting the hospital or an outpatient setting.
This residency program provides an important structure to support, attract, and retain the city’s nurses. Thank you to all our partners inside and outside government that make this work possible, and thank you to New York City’s nurses for supporting your fellow New Yorkers each and every day.”
Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer added, “Nurses are the lifeblood of our hospital system.
“They helped restore and keep many more New Yorkers healthy and safe during one of the most perilous moments in our city’s history.
“As we celebrate recovering all jobs lost to the pandemic, there is no time more important to double down on our investments in the city’s human capital.
“The Citywide Nurse Residency program demonstrates the Adams administration’s commitment to this investment and to connecting New Yorkers to family-sustaining careers. I am honored to congratulate the 5,000-plus participants of the Citywide Nurse Residency program on a job well done.”
Nurse retention, especially for newly graduated nurses, has historically been a challenge for healthcare systems across the country, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurse residencies are recognized as a best practice for improving nurse retention.
Over 1,700 nurses in the 18 participating H+H campuses have successfully completed the program since its launch, resulting in an increase in nurse retention rates by over 40 percent, surpassing the national average.
The program’s impact is reflected in substantial cost savings for private and public hospitals by reducing turnover rates and decreasing expenses associated with hiring and training new nurses.
The Citywide Nurse Residency Program is a collaborative effort between the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare and the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development.
It is offered in partnership with the Greater New York Hospital Association, and its success is evidenced by increased worker confidence, professional satisfaction, and retention. Stable, well-trained nursing professionals significantly contribute to improved patient care and reduced costs for hospitals, particularly in a time of acute nursing shortages following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program is designed to last one year, featuring monthly seminars and reflection time for a small cohort of first-time nurses from the same hospital, which leads to better professional and emotional outcomes.
The program also includes structured flexibility for hospitals to reinforce new nurses’ academic training and to customize training to a facility’s unique operational and cultural needs.
Natalia Cineas, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at NYC Health + Hospitals, commended the program, stating, “The visionary Citywide Nurse Residency Program supported by the Adams administration and implemented by NYC Health + Hospitals has had an immense and immediate impact on nurse recruitment and retention, while at the same time saving our health system more than $42 million in recruitment cost avoidance.
“Nursing is one of the most rewarding and satisfying of all professions, but we recognize that it also can be demanding and stressful for those just emerging from nursing school.
“Nurse residency programs are a nationally recognized best practice for retaining nurses, and our pioneering program provides the mentorship and professional practice training that newly graduated nurses need to be able to confidently and competently be responsible for the health, safety, and well-being of our patients.”
The Citywide Nurse Residency Program has garnered widespread support and recognition from key stakeholders. Daniel Liss, senior advisor for the Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development, and executive director of the New York Alliance for Careers in Healthcare, expressed pride in the program and its impact, stating, “Through thick and thin, New York City depends on our almost 80,000 registered nurses and hundreds of thousands of other health care professionals who show up for their patients every single day. We are incredibly proud of the early career nurses who participate in this program and the health care leaders across the city who make it a success — as the impact they make on our communities is immense.
“The Adams administration has made it a clear priority to invest in our city’s health care sector and its workforce, and the Citywide Nurse Residency Program is a great example of how the public and private sectors can work together to magnify our positive impact.”
City Council Member Lynn Schulman, chair of the Committee on Health, also lauded the program’s significance, saying, “The hospital community is grateful to New York City for developing the Citywide Nurse Residency Program, which provides career opportunities for New Yorkers and gives patients the essential care they need. Today’s milestone of 5,000 newly registered nurses puts the city in the forefront of public healthcare. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams for initiating this important endeavor and for his stalwart commitment to the health outcomes of all who live, work and visit here.”
The Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) expressed its appreciation for the program, with President Kenneth Raske stating, “This important program helps new graduate nurses transition to hospital-based nursing across 28 Hospitals.”