FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Merced nursing residency program is expanding to allow more new grads the opportunity inside a hospital.
The transition from nursing student to nursing professional can be tough for new graduates.
However, Mercy Medical Center is hoping to make it easier and more accessible.
"When you are new out of school, you do not necessarily have your RN license yet, you still have to sit for the state board examination - that's the NCLEX," explained Janet Ruscoe, vice president and chief nurse executive officer. "But you can get an interim permit. So we do hire nurses with their interim permit as they're preparing to take their boards."
The paid six-month residency program has a lot to offer grads. It includes clinical experience, classroom education and support through mentoring.
"This new grad residency program will allow them to get into some of the specialties. It'll allow them to see future career paths as well," said Jennifer Holt, senior director of patient care services.
In the past two years, 150 grads went through the program. According to officials, they're expanding by allowing as many as 40 grads to go through at any one time.
With an already high retention rate, Mercy believes they can be part of the solution when it comes to the Valley's nursing shortage.
"Our goal with this prolonged training period is for them to continue and inspire them to continue their education, and also to have long term careers here at Mercy Medical Center," Holt said.
Over the next year, officials are looking into getting the program nationally certified.