Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™ at UCHealth
Cohort start dates: February, July, August and October
Applications are accepted year-round for all cohorts.
- Please apply early (e.g., 6 months prior to your preferred cohort before graduation and NCLEX licensure) to ensure that you have more options for unit matching.
- Hired applicants are required to have a Colorado RN license or multi-state eNLC compact RN license and Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Provider certification by the program start date.
- University of Colorado Hospital, Aurora
- Broomfield Hospital
- Highlands Ranch Hospital
- Longs Peak Hospital, Longmont
- Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins
- Medical Center of the Rockies, Loveland
- Greeley Hospital
- Yampa Valley Medical Center, Steamboat Springs
- Memorial Hospital Central, Colorado Springs
- Memorial Hospital North, Colorado Springs
- Grandview Hospital, Colorado Springs
- Pikes Peak Regional Hospital, Woodland Park
Do you have further questions about our Nurse Residency program or application process?
Connect live with a New Graduate Nurse Residency programmatic recruiter any Friday from 1-2 p.m. MST.
The employee-based UCHealth Nurse Residency Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE). The accreditation status was awarded to University of Colorado Hospital in 2009 and 2014, expanding to the system-wide UCHealth Nurse Residency Program in 2019. The UCHealth Nurse Residency Program is one of under ten healthcare systems in the country to receive this recognition.
What is a new graduate nurse residency program?
As a new graduate RN in the UCHealth Nurse Residency Program, you will participate in an established, evidence-based, one year program that is designed to provide the necessary support while you continue to gain knowledge and leadership skills. This program has proven to provide a strong foundation for your nursing career. In fact, many graduates of this program have gone on to advance in their clinical practice and experience in roles such as UEXCEL Level III charge nurse, nurse educator, preceptors, clinical managers.
Participants in the UCHealth New Graduate Nurse Residency Program receive:
- Paid precepted orientation on the clinical unit of hire. Length of orientation varies based on unit of hire.
- Paid specialty courses designed for your specific unit occurring throughout the year
- Paid monthly residency seminars, providing additional curriculum and mentoring support
Why should I consider the UCHealth nurse residency program?
UCHealth Nurse Residency Program History
- The Nurse Residency Program at UCHealth was established in 2002 at University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), in partnership with the University of Colorado College of Nursing (CU-CON). The Nurse Residency Program at UCH is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). The accreditation status was awarded in 2009 and 2014, making it one of the first nationally accredited nurse residency programs in the United States.
- In 2012, University of Colorado Hospital entered into a joint operating agreement with Poudre Valley Health System and Memorial Health System to form University of Colorado Health (UCHealth). As of 2015, nurse residency programs in all regions have aligned and are structured according to the guidelines and recommendations provided by the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™.
- In October 2019, UCHealth was awarded accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org) as a system.
UCHealth Nurse Residency Program Mission
Through a shared mission, UCHealth and our partnering academic nursing program(s) seek to improve the safety and quality of patient care by providing excellent education and support to the new graduate nurse transitioning into professional practice. Our Nurse Residency Program is designed to promote the development of competent nurses able to demonstrate leadership in providing patient and family centered care based on evidence and reflecting the values of a magnet hospital environment.
UCHealth Nurse Residency Program Goals:
- Transition from entry-level advanced beginner to competent professional nurse in the clinical environment.
- Develop effective decision-making skills related to clinical judgment and performance.
- Develop strategies to incorporate research-based and other evidence into practice.
- Implement clinical leadership skills at the point of patient care.
- Practice collaboratively as members of the interprofessional healthcare team.
- Formulate an individual career plan that promotes a life-long commitment to professional nursing.
What clinical specialties do nurse residents work in?
See below for descriptions of hospital units and ambulatory clinics where our nurse residents work in our different regions:
New graduate nurse positions may vary between cohorts based on available positions in the various clinical areas.
What is the application process?
Complete an online application and attach the following documents:
- Resume (include clinical hours)
- Cover letter (optional)
- Letter of recommendation (if you do not choose to submit a letter, we will send you an email with a Skill Survey reference link instead).
- Applications will be reviewed by a nurse residency program recruiter.
- Applicants matching with a clinical unit will be contacted via email and scheduled for a virtual Microsoft Teams interview with the hiring manager(s).
Offers are contingent and are not considered official until the following items are received:
- Final, “official” transcripts from your school with nursing graduation date.
- Completed reference check.
- Current and active American Heart Association Basic Life Support card, current (and not expiring) for 60 days from the program start date.
- Passing a post-offer, pre-employment health screen and completion of hospital background check.
- Successful completion of the NCLEX exam. Candidates for this program are highly encouraged to take the NCLEX 4 to 6 weeks prior to Orientation.
- Current and active Colorado RN licensure or (eNLC) compact RN license must be verified by the Friday prior to Orientation.
Nurse Licensure Questions
For questions related to RN licensure in another state, endorsements and/or NCLEX, please contact that state’s Board of Nursing. For the State of Colorado, contact the Colorado State Board of Nursing at http://www.dora.state.co.us/nursing/ or 303.894.2430.
Application and eligibility frequently asked questions
- Graduated with a Bachelor’s or Associates degree from a nursing program that is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized nursing accrediting agency (e.g., ACEN or CCNE) or authorized regulatory body (e.g., a state board of nursing). Associate degree nurse graduates who are hired for our program are required to obtain a BSN within 3 years of their hire date.
- Must have graduated from an accredited nursing program within the past twelve months of a cohort start date.
- See FAQ below if seeking an Exemption Submission application
- Must be seeking first RN nursing role since graduation.
- See FAQ below if seeking an Exemption Submission application
- To be considered for a new graduate nurse position in any area of Critical Care (ICUs, Neonatal ICU, and/or the Emergency Department) a candidate must have previous paid experience (CNA, ACP, nurse intern, EMT, etc.) or a “non-paid” position (Senior Practicum, externship, etc.) in any area of Critical Care.
How can I tell if the program I graduated (or will graduate) from is an “accredited nursing program”?
UCHealth requires all nurses to have graduated from a nursing program that is accredited by either:
- A US Department of Education recognized nursing accrediting agency, such as the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) or the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. – Formerly known as NLNAC)
- An authorized regulatory body, such as a State Board of Nursing
To determine if your program is accredited, please check on the following databases:
US Department of Education: Recognized Nursing Accrediting Agency List: https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home
- Search the database by college/university name.
- Click the college/university.
- Click on the “Programmatic Accreditation” tab.
Under the school or college of nursing, there should be information about which accrediting agency/body has approved the nursing program.
State Board of Nursing: https://www.ncsbn.org/contact-bon.htm
Click on the state, click on the State Board of Nursing website link, search for “accredited nursing programs”
I will be graduating from an entry level Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program; am I eligible for the Nurse Residency Program?
Yes, if you are graduating from an entry level Masters of Science in Nursing program and have no previous nursing experience, you would qualify to apply for our nurse residency program.
Under the applicant eligibility criteria, it mentions an opportunity for an exemption application submission. What is this?
Occasionally and with committee approval, we are able to consider an “Exemption Submission” from applicants who have graduated from a BSN program outside of the 12-month window or who possess less than 6 months of previous nursing experience. Exemption criteria examples:
- Required military obligations
- Personal medical emergencies
We are not able to consider applicants for the Nurse Residency Program who have more than 6 months of RN nursing experience for any reason. If you have more than 6 months of RN nursing experience, please visit https://careers.uchealth.org/ and apply to any experienced RN positions that you feel would be a good fit.
If you believe you may be eligible for an “Exemption Submission,” please follow these instructions:
- Apply for the program that you are currently eligible for, following posted requirements and deadlines.
- Follow application requirements as outlined on the nurse residency program website, but use the Exemption Supplemental Application for your first two pages. Complete the remainder of the application as instructed on the site.
- After the application deadline, you will be notified if your Exemption Submission was approved via email. All decisions will be final.
I will graduate or I currently reside outside of Colorado. Am I eligible for the program?
Yes, out-of-state candidates are eligible for the program if they meet the other eligibility requirements. No preference is extended to Colorado candidates. A significant percentage of program participants are out-of-state residents at the time of offer and we encourage candidates to consider all of the wonderful things that Colorado has to offer!
If currently residing in an Enhanced Nursing License Compact (eNLC) state, we encourage you to receive an RN licensure in your home state and BE SURE THAT IT IS A MULTI-STATE LICENSE. Compact RN licensures will satisfy UCHealth onboarding requirements. If testing directly for Colorado RN licensure from a different state, out-of-state applicants are highly encouraged to apply for Colorado licensure at the time of their NCLEX. Request ATT as soon as possible and do not delay in testing for NCLEX. Applicants can sit for the NCLEX in any state.
Applying for Colorado endorsements after being issued an out-of-state licensure will take an additional period of time after receiving your initial licensure. All offers are contingent on verification of Colorado (or NLC) licensure. Offers have been withdrawn due to lack of licensure to practice in Colorado (or compact state) by the start date.
We encourage you to perform your due diligence, do a ton of research, and choose the most appropriate licensure route for your situation to achieve a Colorado or compact-state endorsed RN licensure in the soonest way possible after BSN graduation. For more information or questions on the NCLEX, Colorado endorsement process, or other licensure questions, please contact the Colorado Board of Nursing.