What surprised Brianna Doty most when becoming a registered nurse at Maine Medical Center was how much she would have an effect on peoples’ lives. “I didn’t realize all the opportunities there are in a 12-hour shift,” said Doty.
Doty participated in the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program, which was created nearly a decade ago to serve as an adjunct to the traditional clinical orientation experience to support new nurses. As the program has evolved, MaineHealth has recognized the increasing complexity of the evolving health care environment and the extreme challenges associated with recruiting and retaining nurses.
“The program bridges the learnings of the classroom with the reality of caring for patients on the floor,” explained Doty. “You can ask questions, apply and cultivate what you learned in class, and, in turn, learn to advocate for your patients, your team and yourself.”
Doty credits the program for providing her the confidence and patience for handling the variety of responsibilities of caring for multiple patients, along with envisioning the possibilities for a thriving, fulfilling career. “My colleagues and I can say to each other, ‘I see that too’ or ‘I feel the same way.’ We encourage and support each other to do our best work.”
Like many nurses, Doty was driven to a health care career by a sense of purpose, to make the world a better place. Empowering front line nurses to be part of the conversation and part of the solution is one of the ways MaineHealth is growing the practice of nursing and retaining nurses, according to Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Baughman.
Over the past couple of years, sustaining a robust workforce has become one of the primary challenges in health care. The shortage of available labor in the local market, and nationally, has only been exacerbated by the pandemic impact of more health care workers choosing to leave the profession for other fields or leaving the workforce altogether.
Attracting and Retaining Talent: Opportunities for Growth