Nurse Residency Program

Nurse Residency Program

AACN PTAP™ Accreditation with Distinction
In association with Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™

The Sanford Health Nurse Residency Program is a 12-month, evidence-based program that helps you transition from a new graduate to a professional registered nurse. You’ll receive personal and professional support to help you thrive in your new role.

As a nursing resident, you’ll develop:

  • Confidence to provide quality patient care
  • Leadership skills to use in your everyday nursing practice
  • Professional relationships across a variety of disciplines

Program Eligibility

You don’t need to apply for the program. You’ll be automatically enrolled in the program if you’re starting a registered nursing position at a participating facility and have less than 12 months of nursing experience.


Monthly Seminars

Residents will meet with their cohort for a four-hour monthly seminar. These seminars serve as a check-in between the resident, their cohort peers, educators and program leaders.

Seminars focus on:

  • A unique topic every month
  • Self-care and wellness strategies
  • Clinical reflection and discussion with mentors and peers
  • Collaboration on evidence-based practice (EBP) initiatives

You’ll be placed with a cohort group based on your employment start date.

Learn More

Eligibility FAQ

Who is eligible to be in the program?

Every nurse with less than 12 months of registered nursing experience who accepts a position at a participating facility is automatically enrolled in the program.

Do I need a bachelor’s degree to be eligible?

No. All registered nurses with less than 12 months of registered nursing experience, regardless of degree earned, are enrolled in the program when they’re hired by a participating facility.

I have licensed practical nursing (LPN) experience. Can I be in the Nurse Residency Program?

Currently, the program is only offered to new registered nurses who accept a position at a participating facility.

As an enterprise float nurse (long-term travel nurse), can I participate in the program?

Yes. Enterprise new graduate nurses who meet the program requirement of having less than 12 months of experience are enrolled in the Nurse Residency Program if they’re assigned to a participating facility.

How do I apply to the program?

The Sanford Health Nurse Residency Program does not require a separate application. All new graduate qualifying nurses hired at a participating facility are automatically enrolled in the program.

Will I be hired into a position in a specific work area or unit, or will I be hired into the Nurse Residency Program and choose my permanent position and unit later?

You will be hired into a specific work area or unit. Search job listings at sanfordcareers.com/nursing-nursing-support/ for current opportunities.

If I’m hired into the Nurse Residency program, what shifts and hours will I work?

The department manager or director determines the position requirements in the job posting, which includes the shifts and schedule. You will be informed of these during the interview process.

Nurse Residency Program FAQ

Do I have to participate?

Sanford Health is committed to supporting the successful transition of all new nurse graduates. The Nurse Residency Program helps student nurses excel in their first year of practice as professional nurses. Active participation in the Nurse Residency Program is required for all qualified new nurses.

Am I able to take a personal leave of absence while in the Nurse Residency Program?

Participation in the program is a condition of employment for new graduate registered nurses. Sanford Health considers the residents’ onboarding experience vital to a successful transition into practice. Therefore, no personal leave will be granted during the time that a resident is completing orientation and residency seminars unless previously negotiated and approved by their manager.

How often is the Nurse Residency Program offered?

Sanford Health offers this program around three times a year. The program starts cohorts in January, May and September.

How long is the program?

It is a 12-month program that begins with the next cohort start (January, May or September) following your employment start date and usually following the completion of your initial department orientation.

Do I get American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) contact hours for the program?

This program does not award ANCC contact hours.

If I transfer to another unit, do I continue to participate in the Nurse Residency Program?

Yes. If you transfer to another department in the same or another participating facility, you will continue to participate in the program. If you transfer within Sanford Health to a non-participating site, you will exit the program.

Will I be asked to sign a contract that requires me to work a certain period of time for Sanford Health if I am hired into the Nurse Residency Program?

The expectation is that you will fulfill the agreement to work at Sanford Health through the duration of the Nurse Residency Program.

Monthly Seminars FAQ

How often does the program meet?

The Nurse Residency Program seminars are held monthly for 12 months.

Is attendance mandatory?

Any absence from a scheduled residency activity is subject to the Sanford Health attendance policy. An absence will require makeup work. Accommodations will be made for all legally protected leaves. Successful completion of the program requires that the resident attend all monthly seminars.

How does my work schedule accommodate seminar attendance?

Your schedule will be adjusted to accommodate your attendance for the monthly seminar, either as part of your worked hours or in addition to your worked hours. This is determined by your hiring manager or director.

What do I wear? Can I wear scrubs?

The dress code for the monthly seminars is to wear your name badge above your waist with scrubs or professional office attire. Try to avoid jeans and non-Sanford Health T-shirts.

I have a question or have to miss a seminar. Who do I contact?

Contact your site clinical coordinator and your unit director or manager. If you have to miss a seminar, contact them before the scheduled seminar date to discuss your options.

Will I be paid to attend the program and am I eligible for benefits?

Yes. As a Sanford Health employee, you are eligible for benefits and are compensated for attending monthly seminars. Your position determines your eligibility for the level of benefits.