Left side: Vandolyn McIntosh, MSN RN CEN CRRN NPD-BC, Manager, Simulation Center; Richard Canderelli, Emeritus RN; Valarie Grumme, PhD RN CCRN-K, Director, Nurse Fellowship Program and Simulation Center; Right side – back row: Linda Silverman, Emeritus RN; Maureen Laighold, Emeritus RN; front row: Marlene Gollop-Downs, Emeritus RN; Toni Mingola, Emeritus RN

Education and Training Help Fill the Gaps

Nurse Residency Program Combats Shortage


Total new nurses thanks to residency program

A national nursing shortage was already challenging health systems when the pandemic hit — and drove more nurses to leave the profession.

The Nurse Residency program is combatting this shortage by educating and training more nurses and providing them with the support they need to succeed. The program has enhanced its curriculum, increased the number of trainees and recruited recently retired nurses to help train the next generation.

Memorial hired about 600 nurse residents in the past fiscal year and now offers them boot-camp-style learning and hands-on experience in its new Simulation Center at the Memorial Training Center that opened in March.

Maggie Hansen, Chief Nurse Executive who retired in August 2022, says the simulators allow novice nurses to sharpen basic skills and practice situations that would otherwise take a lifetime to witness.

The new Simulation Center is a key component of nurse resident training.

We developed our Simulation Center with the latest high-fidelity simulators, where novice nurses can learn how to perform basic skills of nursing and practice according to our policies and procedures.”

Maggie Hansen
Chief Nurse Executive, Retired in August 2022

Nurse Fellowship Opportunities Grow


Nurse fellows in 2021

Our Nurse Fellowship program also continues to grow and now has 19 specialty areas in which nurses with at least one year of experience can train.

The program continues to create additional programs for areas where Memorial and the state are experiencing shortages, including case managers, nurse educators and dialysis nurses.

The opportunities and programs have helped Memorial maintain a 94% retention rate of first-year nurses, which is much higher than the national average of 76%.

“We’re listening to the nurses and providing the support, programs and opportunities that they want,” says Hansen.

GME Program Exceeds 5-Year Goals

Since 2018, Graduate Medical Education (GME) has created 15 programs with 273 accredited spots, exceeding its initial goals despite the challenges of the pandemic.

Memorial had five years to create academic programs at Memorial Hospital West with help from Medicare funding. Memorial enters its last academic year to start new training programs and is doing so with the addition of a transitional-year residency and infectious disease fellowship. Trainees were matched in March 2022 and began training in July.

Memorial launched GME with the goal of creating nine programs to provide training opportunities for medical school graduates, while also addressing the physician shortage in Florida.

“Memorial went above and beyond what was expected, especially considering half of our GME program's existence has been under a pandemic,” said Saima Chaudhry, Chief Academic Officer.

Today, 10 of its 15 programs focus on specialties that the state has identified as in dire need of physicians. And Memorial celebrated its first class of graduates in June 2021.

Memorial went above and beyond what was expected, especially considering half of our GME program’s existence has been under a pandemic.”

Saima Chaudhry, MD
Chief Academic Officer