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HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital to celebrate Versant nursing residency program anniversary


BELLEVILLE – HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital will soon celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Versant RN Residency Program.

The celebration spanning July and August will feature a special 10th Anniversary Celebration at the 23rd Cohort Welcome taking place on July 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Centennial room at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, 211 South Third St., Belleville.

“St. Elizabeth’s began this innovative and exciting program for new graduate Registered Nurses in July 2006, which at that time it was the first residency of this type in the St. Louis Metropolitan area,” shared Regina Peterson, MSN, RN, Nurse Manager of Staff Development at HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. “We are pleased and privileged to celebrate a decade of program success, which has trained over 250 registered nurses since its inception.”

The Versant RN Residency is a comprehensive, evidence-based onboarding of new graduate nurses that helps them gain the experience, judgment, skills and confidence they need to navigate the complexity of a hospital health care setting. Residents are hired as full-time colleagues and remain full-time on their unit after they successfully complete the program.

Qualified RN retention has been a goal of the program since it began, as this topic is a major goal of hospitals nationwide.

“Through the RN Residency Program, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital continues to be at the forefront of RN retention,” notes Peterson. In fact, approximately 38 percent of all currently employed nurses at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital began their nursing careers though the Versant RN residency program and many of these nurses fill leadership positions at St. Elizabeth’s today.”

Components of the Versant curriculum include 75 percent of clinical time and 25 percent classroom time. Individual preceptor teams as well as individual mentors are assigned to each participant. This innovative, one-on-one attention prevents novice nurses from feeling overwhelmed in their first year of work. Debriefing and colleague support groups are also provided throughout the residency and during their first year at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which helps residents to progress to high competence levels quickly, safely and efficiently.

Kristal Story, an RN resident of the July 2008 cohort and RN in the Critical Care Unit, recently shared how the Versant Residency program has impacted her career:

“During my time in the residency, I had classes taught by educators, nurses, and physicians. They became the people I learned from and leaned on. These were the people that pushed me to do more and picked me up when I fell down. When I graduated the Versant RN Residency program, I felt I had found a home. I had been given the support and tools to be confident and successful. But the best part was the support didn’t just end at graduation. All the people that taught and mentored me during the residency are still my cheerleaders and want me to succeed. They continue to push me forward to do more to help me find my path. Since the residency, I have finished my bachelor’s degree and have two specialty critical care certifications, all because my work family gave me the confidence to keep moving forward. We nurses have chosen a career that is complex, challenging, rewarding, and emotional. Thankfully, it’s not a journey we have to take alone. At the end of the 18-week residency program, residents in our program may hear “you are on your own now,” but that’s not true at all. You will always be supported at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. I know this first hand.”

To learn more about the St. Elizabeth’s Versant RN Residency Program, or other St. Elizabeth’s teaching hospital programs, visit


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