Ascension Via Christi in Kansas has launched a hands-on, five-day program for new nurses and other patient care associates designed to make the onboarding process more meaningful and create a safer environment in which to provide care.

The goal of the Professional Onboarding program, which has been successfully implemented in other Ascension health ministries, is to help associates successfully transition into practice as an Ascension care provider and be more confident as they grow in their profession.

“Simulation allows for immediate feedback as nurses and patient care providers are becoming familiar with our environment and processes,” said Anita Mills, who serves as regional market director for Clinical Professional Development. “The video feedback and debriefing sessions are just two of the tools being used to provide that meaningful learning experience.”

Brooke Cooper, a spring graduate from the nursing program at Newman University in Wichita, had anticipated spending her first few days on the job sitting in a chair listening to lectures. “Much to my surprise, I received hands-on training instead,” said Brooke Cooper, one of the more than 50 participants in the inaugural group. “It’s been great to use the actual equipment that we will be using because that varies from facility to facility.”

Initially, Professional Onboarding sessions will be held every two weeks as the more than 100 spring graduate nurses who have elected to begin their careers at Ascension Via Christi get started.

“We were extremely successful in our recruitment efforts this year, and initiatives such as this one, together with our focus on safe, quality care and the patient experience, are one of the reasons why,” said Carla Yost, Ascension Via Christi’s Chief Nursing and Quality Officer. “Workforce development is central to our values.”

Jacob Warren, a recent graduate from Wichita State University who will be working at Ascension Via Christi, said it has been a great experience and learning environment.

“I came in here not knowing anyone in the group and will be going to the floor with some new friends,” he said.