Nurse Residency Program Frequently Asked Questions
Overview of UW Health Nurse Residency Program
How long is the Nurse Residency Program?
The nurse residency is a prestigious 12-month program designed to help nurses move confidently into practice.
How often do you offer the Nurse Residency Program?
We have winter and summer start dates. Applications open August 1 each year for both programs. The application deadline for the winter program is October 15 and the deadline for the summer program is December 1.
Applications received after those dates will be reviewed for admission based on continued program openings.
What is the orientation period for the nurse residents?
The orientation period varies based on practice areas.
What units are available for nurse residents?
View our nurse residency unit descriptions (pdf) to see more information on the units available. We hire nurse residents into all inpatient units, the Emergency Department, operating rooms and Home Health.
How does the placement work after being accepted into the program?
As part of our application process, we have applicants complete a clinical practice inventory. We try to place nurse residents in an area that interests them, though it cannot always be guaranteed.
Is there a time commitment after completing the program?
Nurse residents are expected to complete a full two years of employment at UW Health. Upon completion of the year-long residency, you will be eligible to apply to transfer to another unit for which you meet qualifications. Prior to completion of the year-long program on your assigned unit, you will not be eligible to transfer.
If hired into the Nurse Residency Program, what shifts and/or hours will I work?
Nurse residents follow their preceptor(s) schedule during orientation. Otherwise, the schedule may vary: Day/evening, day/night, evening or night schedules. Most hospital-based units include a weekend and holiday rotation.
If I am hired into the Nurse Residency Program, will I be paid and eligible for benefits?
Yes, nurse residents are paid and are eligible for benefits. View our benefits page for additional information on benefits of working at UW Health.
Do you offer shift and weekend differentials in the Nurse Residency Program?
Inpatient nurse residents receive a shift and/or weekend differential as appropriate.
Is the Nurse Residency Program accredited?
Yes, our Nurse Residency Program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 2011. Through this rigorous process, UW Health has demonstrated that it meets national standards for its program to support new nurses during their first year of practice.
What does the program look like?
Nurse residents will attend monthly residency classes with their cohort. You will meet with clinical experts and problem-solve clinical challenges, and learn more about resources to support your practice.
Eligibility Requirements for UW Health Nurse Residency Program
Is there a GPA requirement to apply for the Nurse Residency Program?
Yes, a GPA of 3.0 or above is required to be considered for the Nurse Residency Program.
How long after graduation may I start the program?
Candidates must start the program within six months of graduation. If you are graduating in August or December, you can only apply for the winter group. If you are graduating in May, you can only apply for the summer group.
Do I need to complete an additional application for the Nurse Residency Program?
Yes, there is a supplemental application that you need to complete prior to the online application. Please go to Applying to the Program for additional information.
May I have previous nursing experience before applying to the program?
No, we do not accept candidates who have already worked as a registered nurse.
Is the Nurse Residency Program open to all new graduate nurses?
The Nurse Residency Program is open to new graduate nurses with a baccalaureate degree or to nurses with an associates degree who are existing employees of UW Health.
I am a UW Health employee and just graduated with my Associates Degree in Nursing. What is the process for applying to the AD-New to Practice program?
UW Health employees who have recently graduated with their associates degree in nursing are eligible to apply to the AD-New to Practice program. The candidates who are selected through this program start with the nurse residents. It is required to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing within six years of the start date.
What certifications are required before starting the program?
Nurse residents are required to be CPR-certified and provide a copy of the Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers card at their pre-employment paperwork appointment. We only accept certifications from American Red Cross or American Heart Association.
What are the requirements after being accepted into the Nurse Residency Program?
Nurse residents must pass NCLEX and obtain a permanent Wisconsin RN license prior to their start date. They must also pass a health assessment, drug screening and criminal background check prior to starting employment with UW Health.