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Achieving PTAP with Distinction: A Residency Conversation with INTEGRIS Health and Salinas Valley Health

May 16, 2023
May 16, 2023

Amidst a serious and continuing nursing shortage, 33% of new nurse graduates will leave their organizations within the first two years. Strategies to attract and retain nurses are on the radar screen of every healthcare leader. A strong nurse residency program is a great way to set your organization apart as an employer of choice for new graduates. HealthStream’s Nurse Residency Program can help healthcare organizations build a strong and standardized program that will help attract and retain new nurses.

This blog is taken from a recent HealthStream webinar entitled “Achieving PTAP with Distinction: A Residency Conversation with INTEGRIS Health and Salinas Valley Health.” The webinar was moderated by Dr. Kim Guthrie, Ph.D., MSN, RN, Clinical Onboarding Advisor, HealthStream and featured Sandy Hill, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, Manager, Office of Nursing Support, INTEGRIS Health and Stephanie Frizzell, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CMSRN, Manager, Education Department, Salinas Valley Health. Both presenters have recently led their organizations on a successful Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (PTAP) with Distinction journey and shared their organization’s experiences.  


Organizational Overview – Two Unique Organizations: One Solution

The presenters began by giving an overview of their organizations. Hill described Oklahoma-based INTEGRIS Health as the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in the state. The system includes urgent care centers, specialty and family care centers and nine acute care hospitals ranging in size from 50 to 500 beds. Hill shared that the INTEGRIS Health Nurse Residency Program is a 1-year program that uses a blended learning approach that includes both in-person learning and asynchronous learning modules along with reflective practice activities and skills demonstrations. INTEGRIS Health hires 350 nurses each year. 

Frizzell shared that Salinas Valley Health, based in Salinas, California serves Monterey County and includes a 263-bed hospital that employs 2,400 people. The organization achieved Magnet status in 2021 and PTAP with Distinction in 2022. The residency program at Salinas Valley Health is 6-months long and begins with a 6-week intensive education period where residents are receiving orientation on their units. In addition, residents come to the Education department each week for eight hours of education that uses multiple modalities including lectures, inter-disciplinary simulations, and reflective practices.


The PTAP with Distinction Journey

When asked to share why INTEGRIS Health had chosen to attain the PTAP with Distinction designation, Hill shared this was really an opportunity to validate what they were already doing and to further evaluate ways in which they could make their program even more robust.

Hill shared that INTEGRIS Health began with gap analysis to help them understand current performance and to identify areas where they needed to establish more objective metrics. She shared that she found the PTAP seminars to be extremely helpful. In addition, she established a multi-disciplinary team that met regularly to review progress on the various standards that were being written. Hill also stressed the importance of breaking the standards down into smaller projects to ensure that the writing process did not become overwhelming.

Frizzell shared that while Salinas Valley Health had an established nurse residency program, it was a homegrown program. Frizzell and Salinas Valley Health wanted to ensure that they could be compared with peers and were looking for new ways in which to challenge themselves. She shared that they welcomed the opportunity to be recognized for their accomplishments and to be evaluated in ways that would help them become even better. It also helped demonstrate the organization’s commitment to new nurses.

Frizzell also began the PTAP journey with gap analysis to better understand where opportunities existed and then established a team to brainstorm and take the lead in writing the standards. Frizzell appreciated the PTAP seminars and urged other leaders on this journey to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.

Both presenters stressed the importance of engaging leadership at all levels with the process. Both also agreed that the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) was very helpful before and during the credentialing process, providing resources and answering questions ahead of the virtual visit.


HealthStream’s Nurse Residency Program

HealthStream can help healthcare organizations to enhance their nurse residency programs. HealthStream’s award-winning Nurse Residency Program can help by providing an approach that includes intensive blended learning and monthly sessions that build on what the resident nurse is currently experiencing in their clinical practice. In addition, the program includes Jane®, a program that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate progress and create uniquely-tailored educational programs for residents.