The Nurse Residency is for graduate nurses, including Vanderbilt University Medical Center employees, who have graduated from an accredited nursing program. Nurse residents must have graduated with a BSN or MSN.
You are considered for the track you have indicated as your preference. If there is a track which has a need for additional candidates, you may receive an offer to interview in a track other than your preference.
We strongly discourage residents from attending school during the year of the Nurse Residency. You are orienting to a new career and are required to work full-time during the first year. Full-time is considered 36-40 hours per week at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital, and 32 hours per week at the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital.
You will be sent an offer to interview for the residency program via email. The scheduling of interviews will begin within 2 weeks after the application deadline. Candidates who are not offered an opportunity to interview will be notified at that same time.
After the application acceptance period ends, all applications are reviewed and scored based on established criteria such as work, volunteer experience, leadership experience, and faculty references. Once applications are scored, they are ranked and offers for interviews are made.
We generally interview 2-3 times the number of applicants that we plan to hire. A track that is unit specific (such as one of the ICU’s or the adult ED) will have a smaller number of hires than a track which is made up of multiple units. (Example: If a unit specific track is planning to hire 5 nurse residents, they will most often interview up to 15 candidates. If a track contains 5 units and each of those units plans to hire 5 residents, 50-75 candidates would be interviewed to meet those hiring needs).
If you are unsure of the area or track that you are most interested in but want to start your nursing career at Vanderbilt, consider applying for the tracks that will be interviewing and hiring a larger number of nurse residents. For example: The Adult Acute Medicine, Surgical, Cardiology, and Oncology tracks have multiple units and will interview and hire a larger number of residents than single unit tracks. Additionally, highly specialized units (such as Burn, Psych, Neuro ICU, Adult and Pediatric Holding Room/PACU, Pediatric Operating Room, Pediatric ICU and Pediatric Cardiac ICU) require a larger pool of candidates to meet their needs.
The number of residents hired for each track is determined in collaboration with the leaders of those clinical areas and is based on the number of units in the track and the number of staff vacancies. Candidates who are recommended for hire but not offered positions (based on hiring numbers) are placed on a wait list.
Candidates on the wait lists are highly qualified and have been recommended for hire by the teams that interviewed them. In the time between interviews and offers, some candidates make other decisions about employment and decline offers made by Vanderbilt. This opens up opportunities for those on the wait list. Offers are frequently made to candidates on the wait lists.
Preparation for the NCLEX should be ongoing while you are in school. We will ensure that you have the day off when you are scheduled to test (as well as the night before if you are working a night-shift schedule). We will not grant any additional leave time to prepare for the exam. We strongly urge you to test prior to starting your employment.
Most often, newly hired nurses are scheduled on the night shift. Depending on the staffing needs of the unit, there may be day shift opportunities available. The total hours worked each week will range from 36 – 40 hours per week in Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUH) and Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital (Children's Hospital), and 32 hours per week at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital (VPH). There will be some variation of numbers of hours per day and number of days per week during the first weeks. However, you will not work more than 40 hours in a week and not more than 12 hours in one day. You are required to work full-time during the year of the Nurse Residency Program. In the VUH and Children's Hospital, you will primarily work 12-hour shifts during unit orientation with the exception of designated days for classroom or simulated lab instruction. In VPH, shifts are generally 8 hours in length.
The NCLEX exam should be scheduled at the earliest possible date and we strongly encourage Nurse Residents to have taken the NCLEX before beginning employment. Nurse Residents must provide a written update of their NCLEX exam status prior to start date. Nurse Residents moving from out-of-state are strongly encouraged to apply to take the State of Tennessee NCLEX exam. Graduate nurses are hires into a Nurse Resident job code. Until the resident is licensed, he or she is restricted to job functions that do not require licensure. Upon receiving notification of licensure, clinical orientation will continue without the restrictions related to licensure.
In this instance, you will remain in a non-licensed status until you are eligible to re-take your NCLEX exam. You will be allowed to work and continue in the program, though your role will continue to be limited to be restricted to practice which does not require licensure. In the event that you have a second unsuccessful NCLEX attempt, you will not be eligible to continue in the nurse residency program.