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Penn State Hershey Nurse Residency Program | Nurse Residency Programs

Penn State Hershey Nurse Residency Program

Penn State Hershey Nurse Residency Program

Penn State Hershey Nurse Residency Program Apply by March 15th for Early Consideration For the July 2011 Residency:  Apply February 1 – April 1, 2011 Designed for the new graduate nurse (and recently licensed Registered Nurse), this year-long program facilitates the transition from student nurse to professional nurse using a myriad of educational techniques.  The length of […]

Penn State Hershey Nurse Residency Program

Apply by March 15th for Early Consideration
For the July 2011 Residency:  Apply February 1 – April 1, 2011

Designed for the new graduate nurse (and recently licensed Registered Nurse), this year-long program facilitates the transition from student nurse to professional nurse using a myriad of educational techniques.  The length of the orientation period will vary between 12 and 20 weeks, depending on the unit and/or specialty.  During this time, an RN preceptor provides support, encouagement, and expertise, and shares in the daily rewards and challenges of nursing at Penn State Hershey.  Once orientation is complete, the Residency continues with required monthly meetings, educational opportunities, and activities that provide an atmosphere of camraderie where participants celebrate their personal growth, skill development, and burgeoning self confidence with one another. These four-hour meetings provide the opportunity for residents to build a supportive network with other nurses who are just beginning their careers at Penn State Hershey.

The residency is a full-time position with pay and benefits effective the first day of hire. Upon successful completion of the orientation, a resident moves into a regularly scheduled pattern of shifts for his/her position.  Graduate Nurse Residents are expected to remain full-time for the entire year of the program, as well as actively participate in all generalized and specialty learning opportunities that are offered.

Quote from a current Graduate Nurse Resident: “I feel valued and supported as a new nurse.  The Graduate Nurse Residency is helping me become the nurse I have always wanted to be.”

To speak with a Nurse Recruiter, please call Lynn McCleary at 717-531-1118 or email lmccleary1@hmc.psu.edu.

What is a Graduate Nurse Residency?

The Graduate Nurse Residency is a structured twelve-month program that facilitates the transition from student nurse to fully functioning and competent staff nurse on the unit. The program is designed to provide the necessary knowledge and ongoing support, utilizing such strategies as classroom learning, seminars, case studies, small group discussion, simulation, precepted clinical practice, evidence-based practice exploration/ projects, and personal interactions with expert facilitators.

Should I apply to staff nurse jobs on the units that interest me?

No. As a Graduate Nurse Resident, you will apply to just ONE position, the posting that begins with the letters GNR. If you apply to other nursing positions, your applications will be deemed ineligible based on lack of experience. When you apply to the GNR position, you will have an opportunity to state your areas of interest on the emailed Questionnaire that follows.

I already have my license.  Must I complete a Nurse Residency in order to be hired at Penn State Hershey?

Yes, all new graduates are required to complete our Graduate Nurse Residency program. If you have a minimum six months’ RN experience, you may apply for a staff nurse position and potentially be hired without the Residency. However, more experienced nurses will present strong competition for those positions.

When can I apply for a Graduate Nurse Residency at Penn State Hershey?

For the July 2011 Residency, the position will be posted on the website February 1 – April 1, 2011.

If I graduated in December 2010, am I eligible for the July 2011 Residency?

Yes, but you will be expected to have passed NCLEX prior to interviewing.  We will consider each case individually, partially dependent upon what you have done since graduating.  Working elsewhere does NOT disqualify you from the Residency.  If, however, you graduated in the Summer of 2010, you have aged out of the Residency program.  In this case, please gain at least 6 months’ experience and then apply as a Staff Nurse.

Is there a minimum GPA for acceptance?

Preference is given to a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

I was an Extern last year. Do I need to reapply?

Yes, you will need to go through the entire application process, and put forward your best effort to secure an interview. Applications, resumes, cover letters and transcripts are still required.  Within a few days after applying online, you will receive an emailed Questionnaire to complete. If you are still employed with us as a Patient Sitter, CNA, Extern, etc. please apply online using the “internal” application.  If you are still on payroll at PSHMC, you will not need to be drug screened or fingerprinted again.  Also, you will be exempt from much of the new hire paperwork.

Besides completing the online application, what else do I need to do?

Within a few days after your application is submitted, you will receive an electronic Questionnaire.  This is an important document and should be completed thoughtfully and accurately.  After submitting the Questionnaire, you will receive an email with instructions on how to electronically submit your Professional Portfolio.  Once the Professional Portfolio is received, you will be instructed on our electronic reference checking process.  The Professional Portfolio will include:
a.  Resume – list all education and experience, including dates.
b. Cover letter – do NOT specify the precise units where you want to work, but rather indicate broader specialties.  The rationale behind keeping it general is that you may need to interview in more than one place.
c. Unofficial transcript – can be found on your school’s website.  If you are hired, you will need to bring your final Official Transcript to New Employee Orientation, along with your license or Temporary Practice Permit.
d.  Clinical Narrative (see details on the Clinical Narrative tab)

What is the difference between Unofficial and Official transcripts?

  1. Unofficial transcripts can be viewed by you and printed from your school’s website at will.
  2. Official transcripts are mailed from your Bursar’s Office, with your school’s official seal.


If I submit my Portfolio immediately, do I have a better chance of being hired?

As soon as we receive your Portfolio, we compile it and make it available for the Nurse Managers to review, so it is helpful for us to receive it early.  Please do not wait until the last week, in case there are issues to address.  At the very latest, we will anticipate receiving your entire portfolio by the deadline, April 1, 2011, which means the application should be completed several days before that.  During the ongoing process, submitted portfolios will be reviewed with equal discernment, compared and contrasted with one another, and evaluated for interview viability.
Is this a paid Nurse Residency?

Yes. All Graduate Nurse Residents are selected to ultimately fill a staff nurse position on the hiring unit. You will receive a full salary and comprehensive benefits beginning the day you start New Employee Orientation.

Am I guaranteed an interview if I apply?

Not everyone who applies will be granted a face-to-face interview.  Managers will decide who to interview based on the Professional Portfolio, which you will be instructed to submit electronically once we receive your Questionnaire.

Will I be granted an interview wherever I want to work?

We do strive to place you where you will be content to grow and contribute, as training a new graduate is a big commitment for a nursing unit.  When submitting your Questionnaire, you will state your top two preferred nursing areas; while we will attempt to schedule interviews with those nurse managers, some specialties are more popular than others, and being granted an interview in those areas may be more challenging.

When will interviews be conducted?

We have set aside two days in April, and to accommodate the managers’ schedules, we are trying to limit interviews to those two days.

How many positions are available?

Even our best projections are subject to change, based on increasing/decreasing staffing needs.  We will not know precise numbers for several momths.

On what criteria is the hiring decision made?

Different managers place varying degrees of emphasis on hiring criteria, but in general they look at type of degree, GPA, past experience, references, clinical narrative, and interview score.  Of course, they are seeking applicants who will bring a positive influence to their team.  If you are graduating without a BSN, it is advised that you have a plan to pursue it as soon as possible.

What shift will I be working?

As a Graduate Nurse Resident, your offer letter will indicate a varied shift, and you will most likely be assigned to a full-time 4×4 rotating position, four weeks on days and four weeks on nights (or evenings if the position is day/eve). Once the orientation period (12-14-20 weeks) is complete and you have passed NCLEX, you will have the opportunity to apply to other available full-time shifts on your unit. Your full-time status must be maintained for the entire year of the Nurse Residency.

May I send all my information by US Postal Service?

Please do not. We prefer to receive everything electronically. It is recommended that you email the entire application portfolio simultaneously via PDF attachments. This ensures the efficient receipt and storage of all documents. Please identify yourself on all correspondence, as we typically receive several hundred applications.  Please click on the “Portfolio” tab for specific directions on how to submit the Professional Portfolio.

Do I need written references from my professors?

No. This is a change from past requirements. You will be asked (by email) for seven email addresses of people who are familiar with your quality of work.  DO NOT be tempted to submit more than seven, as it could work against you.  We recommend that you utilize past employers, professors, instructors, preceptors, supervisors, and coaches. The reference check will then be conducted electronically. Please let your references know ahead of time that they will receive a survey that is quick, easy, anonymous, accurate, but time sensitive and must be completed promptly.  From the moment you open the email from Checkster (the reference checking company), the report is only open for ONE WEEK, and references must respond during that time.

What uniforms will I need?

Uniforms colors are specific to the various units, and will be discussed during your interview. While a few units provide scrubs, for most areas you will be responsible for the purchase and care of uniforms and/or scrubs.

What can I do to prepare for the interview?

  • Plan Ahead. Research Penn State Hershey and the position if possible. Review your work experiences, and be ready to support past career and school accomplishments with specific information targeted towards our needs.
  • Dress appropriately. This is a competitive job interview, dress professionally, preferably in a suit.
  • Be on time. It is best to arrive at the interview area 5 minutes before the scheduled interview time. If you find that you are too early, you may visit our Starbuck’s coffee shop or gift shop in the east wing lobby.

Do you have any advice for the interview?

  • Awareness. – An interview is a two-way exchange of information. In addition to researching Penn State Hershey, demonstrate your interest by formulating questions in advance to ask the interviewer.
  • Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact with your interviewer. Demonstrate that you want the job with your interest in the position, and in that particular nursing unit.
  • Positive Attitude – In particular, avoid negative comments about past employers or professors.  Listen and adapt – Be sensitive to the style of the interviewer. Pay attention to details, as they may offer helpful clues to assist you in tailoring your presentation.
  • Ability to Relate – Try to relate your answers to the interviewer and to Penn State Hershey. Focus mostly on achievements that would be relevant to the position. Provide answers that are specific to the questions.

When will selections be made?

Selections will be made by the middle of May 2011 for the July 2011 Graduate Nurse Residency.