Nurse Residency and Nurse Extern Programs

Nurse Residency Program

When you are starting out in nursing, it’s important to work in a supportive learning environment. Henry Ford Health is a great place to begin and develop your nursing career. Because we want every new nurse to succeed, we offer a paid 12-month Nurse Residency Program to all new graduate nurses and to newly licensed nurses with less than one year acute care experience.

Our Nurse Residency Program provides the orientation, training, resources and support you need to transition into to a competent, professional nurse.

“Our Nurse Residency Program nurtures you to grow and develop professionally and become the nurse you want to be. You get to see a variety of specialties, so you can discover what you love to do.”

— Allison Loyst, RN


“I really enjoyed this interactive program and found it even more informative than I’d expected. Sharing experiences and support with other new nurses and working on research projects helped me build confidence and knowledge."

— Catherine Sullivan, RN


How Nurse Residency works

Our program focuses on the progressive development of critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills.

As a nurse resident, you will work side by side with experienced nurses to deliver safe, high-quality care. You will have unique and exciting opportunities to build on the knowledge and skills you learned in nursing school. You will also have the benefit of additional support from seminars and workshops, peer groups, role playing and competency reviews. Topics of study will include developing professional leadership, improving patient outcomes and techniques to avoid compassion fatigue.

Support and mentoring

Nurse resident cohorts are divided into groups of five or six. Each smaller group is led by a clinical nurse specialist who will provide consistent support and mentoring throughout the program. Toward the end of their unit training, the small groups begin meeting monthly for the remainder of the year.

  • Increases decision-making and confidence
  • Improves professional commitment and satisfaction
  • Enables consistent use of evidence-based practices
  • Builds stronger clinical nursing leadership and communication skills
  • Strengthens critical thinking by enhancing decision-making and clinical judgment
  • Teaches self-care, wellness and resiliency strategies

Nurse Residency requirements

  • Graduation from an accredited school of nursing with less than one year of experience in a related area of nursing practice
  • Successfully passing the NCLEX-RN and obtaining an active, unrestricted license within 60 days of hire. (New graduate nurses can apply prior to taking the NCLEX.)
  • Having your BLS Heath care provider certification is preferred.

Nurse Extern Program

The Nurse Extern Program is an opportunity for current nursing students to experience the real-life nursing, outside of the classroom. As a nurse extern, you will work under the direction and supervision of a registered nurse to meet the patients’ safety and comfort needs. You will have opportunities to provide input as you assist the RN in planning and providing patient care.

Nurse Extern requirements

  • Current enrollment in an accredited school of nursing (BSN preferred).
  • Completion of two clinical rotations by your start date; one must be in an acute care setting (medical/surgical unit).
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