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NEWS | Aug. 23, 2012

Air Force's new nurse residency program: focus on patient-centered care

By Dianne Moffett Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs

Compassion and focus for the patient are some of the many takeaways for 12 graduates of the first class of nurses to complete the Air Force's new nurse residency program at the San Antonio Military Medical Center.

First Lt. Jennifer Beasock, 2nd Lts. Alejandro Ayala, James Bickel, Rachel Castillo, Gary Dupart, Tammy Evans, Jenny Howell, Lisa Kabore, Stephanie Lord, Alexis Mitchell, Omayra Nunez, Timothy and Vojak Monday graduated from the program Aug. 20.

The program launched Jan. 19 as an Air Education and Training Command formal officer course in response to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing recommendation to build a transitional year of training for newly licensed nurses.

"The transition to practice for the new nurses will positively impact practice, retention and ultimately patient safety," said Maj. Gen. Kimberly A. Siniscalchi, assistant Air Force surgeon general, Medical Force Development, Nursing Services, and keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony.

Siniscalchi emphasized the importance of mentoring and collaborating, continued engagement in learning, staying abreast of evidenced based practice, technology changes, and professional development to ensure positive growth in their Nursing career.

"Compassion is the lifeline to your patient's needs and it is what they will remember most," Siniscalchi said. "Don't let technology take you away from your patient. Observe them, assess them, and take the time to really see them." A total of 29 nurses graduated from eight Air Force program sites, which include Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Nellis AFB, Nev.; SAMMC, Texas; Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; and Joint Base Elmendorf, Alaska.

One of the SAMMC graduates, 2nd Lt. Stephanie Lord said what she gained most from her residency training is how she is more prepared for the challenges, "and what I enjoyed most about the program was coming back home to train with my Air Force family."