AUSTIN, Texas—St. David’s HealthCare is the first hospital system in the nation to receive U.S. Department of Labor approval to classify registered nursing as an “apprenticeable” occupation. As a result, the hospital system will begin applying the criteria for the apprenticeship program to its current Registered Nurse Residency program.
The Registered Nurse Residency Apprenticeship at St. David’s HealthCare incorporates an evidence-based, structured framework for seasoned registered nurses to mentor new registered nurses. The transition from student to professional practice under the revised federal classification enables new nurses to gain additional training under the guidance of those with greater practical experience.
“This program has a direct effect on patient care, as it allows us to recruit newly licensed nurses and assist in their professional training and development as they transition from nursing school to hospital-based care.” Sheila Fata, chief nursing executive at St. David’s HealthCare, said. “The residency enhances the competency of new nursing graduates by providing them with the support and hands-on training they need, ultimately improving patient outcomes and patient safety and leading to higher new graduate retention rates.”
Additionally, the residency program reduces work stress and increases job satisfaction among those entering the field. It also builds a pipeline capable of producing more than 300 trained registered nurses.
“Now that St. David’s HealthCare has laid the groundwork to ensure nursing is recognized and registered as an ‘apprenticeable’ occupation, hospital systems across the country can apply to develop similar residency programs,” Fata said.
St. David’s HealthCare
With more than 117 sites across Central Texas, St. David’s HealthCare includes seven of the area’s leading hospitals and is one of the largest health systems in Texas. The organization has been recognized with a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence. St. David’s HealthCare is the third-largest private employer in the Austin area, with more than 10,200 employees.
St. David’s HealthCare is a unique partnership between a hospital management company and two local non-profits—St. David’s Foundation and Georgetown Health Foundation. The proceeds from the operations of the hospitals fund the foundations, which, in turn, invest those dollars back into the community. Since the inception of St. David’s HealthCare in 1996, more than $430 million has been given back to the community to improve the health and healthcare of Central Texans.