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Baptist Health Nurse Internship Program in Arkansas | Nurse Residency Programs

Baptist Health Nurse Internship Program in Arkansas

Baptist Health Nurse Internship Program in Arkansas

Baptist Health Nurse Internship Program in Arkansas In January of 2004, BAPTIST HEALTH launched its first New Nurse Internship Program. The New Nurse Internship Program is an innovative means of orienting new Graduate Registered Nurses. The purpose of the program is to provide a well rounded orientation that will assist the new RN in the […]

Baptist Health Nurse Internship Program in Arkansas

In January of 2004, BAPTIST HEALTH launched its first New Nurse Internship Program. The New Nurse Internship Program is an innovative means of orienting new Graduate Registered Nurses. The purpose of the program is to provide a well rounded orientation that will assist the new RN in the integrating into the hospital both professionally and socially.

The New Nurse Internship Program is like no other program in the state of Arkansas. The program was initially developed to aid with retention of nursing staff. Prior to the initiation of the program, retention rates for new graduate nurses were approximately fifty percent only one year after employment. Since the program’s inception, retention rates have increased dramatically. For those completing the New Nurse Internship Program over the past four years, the average retention rate after one year of employment is ninety two percent.

The Program

The New Nurse Internship is sixteen weeks in length and consists of four components: classroom instruction, looping, a support group, and unit orientation with preceptor.

Classroom Instruction

Classroom instruction is designed to complement and expand on selected topics learned in school to help the new nurse be successful at BAPTIST HEALTH. There are two types of classroom instruction: BAPTIST HEALTH Specific and Specialty Specific. The new intern will spend 54 hours in BAPTIST HEALTH Specific classes which will include a variety of topics specific to BAPTIST HEALTH. The intern will spend 56 hours in Specialty specific classes which will focus on assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients in the intern’s specialty area.


New interns are also given the opportunity to spend time in other departments through out the hospital. This process, known as Looping, allows interns to make personal connections with other hospital staff while expanding their knowledge base to better prepare them to provide patient education. Each intern will spend 36 hours looping during the internship.

Support Group

On each BAPTIST HEALTH specific class day, the intern will spend 1 hour in a support group. This will provide the new nurse weekly peer support to discuss problems or issues as they transition to the professional nurse role. It will also be a time to share exciting stories and events during the internship. The support group leader will integrate the class topics from each day into the support group session, as well as introduce new topics specific to being a new graduate nurse.

Unit Orientation with Preceptor

The new intern will spend over seventy percent of their internship with an assigned preceptor. The preceptor will plan the intern’s orientation based on their identified learning style. Tasks during orientation will be planned from simple to complex. The preceptor will serve as a role model, facilitator, and educator to the new intern. The intern, preceptor, and supervisor will meet throughout the orientation period to assess the intern’s learning needs and progression into the role of the professional nurse.


The following areas have specialty classes:

BAPTIST HEALTH Rehabilitation

    Critical Care Service


    Medical-Surgical Services


    Perioperative Services

Women and Children’s Services

Admission and Application

The admission criteria for the New Nurse Internship program includes: completion of BAPTIST HEALTH orientation and completion of New Nurse Orientation. The intern must also have a temporary license. Admission into the internship is twice a year: February and July.

To apply for the internship program, the intern should contact the BAPTIST HEALTH Nurse Recruiter or the Internship Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the RN Graduate Internship Program?
This is an exciting orientation program for new graduate RN’s of BHMC-LR, BHRI, and BHMC-NLR. It will include class time (both hospital specific and specialty specific), looping time, support group time, and clinical time spent with a preceptor on your home unit.

How long is this program?
The program will be approximately 16 weeks.

When does the program begin?
The program begins every February and July.

What will be included in class time?
Class time will be spent on various topics specific to healthcare at BAPTIST HEALTH. Topics will include: abuse and neglect, organ donation, career success, corporate compliance and HIPPA, BAPTIST HEALTH Centers of Excellence (Bariatrics, Stroke, and Orthopedic), dealing with difficult people, delegation, risk management, ethics, generational styles, Joint Commission preparation, learning styles, medication policies and administration, pain management, pastoral care, patient safety issues, patient satisfaction, prioritization, PICC team, rapid response team, stress management, traditions, and the Women’s Resource Center.

These classes will be both lecture and interactive. Throughout the classes you will be asked to participate in activities to enhance your learning and build your critical thinking skills.

How long are classes?
Class days are usually between 7-8 hours.

Where will classes be held?
Most classes will be held in Shuffield Auditorium but as locations may vary, a schedule will be provided with information and room assignment.

What hours will the classes be?
The time will be from 0800-1700.

How do nurses working in specialty areas get the extra training they need?
During your internship, you will have 56 hours devoted to your specialty area (i.e. Perioperative Services, Critical Care, Medical-Surgical, and Women’s and Children’s). These class days will be included in your internship. Class days are normally scheduled for Mondays. Some of the Critical Care courses are scheduled for Monday through Friday.

What is looping?
Looping is an opportunity to see what happens to your patients in other areas. This will be a type of “shadowing” to other nursing areas, other departments, and definitely to other roles. Your nursing supervisor has determined the areas they feel would be most beneficial for you to loop through to enhance your nursing practice. You will be provided with learning objectives that are specific to your area during your looping experience.

What are some looping areas?
There are many ancillary departments and nursing departments that participate in looping. Some of these areas include Radiology, Laboratory, Special Procedures, Nuclear Medicine, Enterostomal Nursing, Cardiac Cath Lab, Emergency Department, and the Surgical Department (Pre-Op, OR, and Post-Op). Also, some looping time will be spent within other nursing areas. For example: Critical Care nurses may loop to Med/Surg, BHRI, or Behavioral Services. Women and Children’s nurses may loop to NICU, L & D, and the Mother Baby Unit. Some looping time may be spent on your own unit with the Information Associate, Case Coordinator and Respiratory Therapists.

How many hours a week will I spend looping?
You will spend 36 hours of your internship looping. Looping may not occur every week for each participant, but whenever you are assigned a looping day, the time will vary depending on scheduling. You may be scheduled to loop an entire day, 6 hours, 3 hours, or you may just go to one area. Every consideration is given to making your schedules realistic while at the same time filling the available slots in the looping areas.

Do I get to choose my preceptor?
You can ask your supervisor if you can have input, but most of the time, there has been careful consideration given to the assignments. Your supervisors consider who the nurses are on your unit that have the knowledge base, personality and desire to be preceptors and even try to pair the person they believe will be best suited to work with you.

How many hours will I work each week?
For the majority of the program, you will be in clinical on your unit with your preceptor two (2) 12 hour shifts (exception – Perioperative Services. The times in clinical will vary). You will be in class on Mondays for either 7-8 hours. Your 36 hours of Looping will depend on your unit supervisor and how they would like to structure your looping experience. Every effort will be made by the Internship Coordinator and your Unit Supervisor to ensure you receive your authorized 36 hours (exception – Perioperative Services).

For other questions or additional information, please contact Lee Ann Danner RN, MA, Internship Coordinator, at (501)202-2047.