A new program has launched to help place new and unemployed nurses in health care facilities statewide for up to nine-month-long paid residencies. It's expected to start with 20 nurses and expand to 40 by the second year, with the first placements beginning this fall.
The program targets two needs. One is to provide participating nurses with the additional training and experience they need to apply for a growing number of positions that demand higher skills. The other is to help build the kind of health care workforce Rhode Island needs to provide more primary care in the community.
Peter Andruskiewicz, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, a supporter of the new residency initiative, says the program is unique because of the variety of settings in which nurses will be placed for training.
"One of the wonderful things about this initiative is that nurses will have the opportunity to practice in community health centers and nursing homes as well as traditional hospital settings."
Program funding comes from several public and private agencies, including the Governor’s Workforce Board.
Rhode Island's Department of Labor reported that hundreds of positions for registered nurses went unfilled in 2012.