Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Diane Whitehead


AbstractThe purpose of this DNP project was to explore new graduate nurse (NGN) residency program retention data in a large healthcare system to assess if participant retention met or exceeded identified retention benchmarks. The second project question explored NGNs’ reasons for leaving the organization after the first year of experience. The Plan Do Study Act model framed this quality improvement evaluation project. The total number of NGN residency participants for the system in 2020 was 586 and 680 in 2021.Year one retention in 2020 was 539 (92%). Year one retention in 2021 was 625 (92%). Year two retention data were not collected by the organization. These retention rates met the national NGN residency program reported retention rates at the end of one year ranging from 74% to 100%. The organization also reported deidentified aggregate data that during exit interviews with NGN participants reasons for leaving the organization prior to one year employment included better pay, better working conditions, personal reasons, relocation, and inability to handle the demands of the organization. Although NGN retention after year one was strong, recommendations to the organization included collecting year two retention rate data, addressing how to help NGNs handle the ever-changing demands of the profession as well as the pay and working conditions within the organization. This project supported positive social change by addressing the importance of NGN residency programs for the organization and factors that may be addressed to improve retention.

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Nursing Commons