New Nurse Graduates

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is committed to helping newly graduated nurses succeed in their careers. All nurses hired with less than one year of nursing experience will participate in our Nurse Residency Program. Graduate nurses see a varied patient population and are supported by experienced career nurses and educators, allowing them to develop the skills needed to advance their career.

Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center offers two paths to start their nursing journey, the Pre-NCLEX Nursing Student New Graduate position, and a Post-NCLEX for those who have already attempted the exam.

  • Pre-NCLEX: Nursing Student New Graduate (NSNG): In accordance with Maine’s Board of Nursing, EMMC welcomes recent nursing graduates, from accredited schools of nursing, to begin their training once an Authorization to Test has been confirmed. New Gradates entering this program work full time, while studying for their NCLEX. This gives our NSNGs an amazing opportunity to begin their orientation with EMMC, and earn a paycheck shortly after graduation!

  • Post-NCLEX: With a rolling on-boarding process, you have the flexibility to take the NCLEX when you are comfortable, with the advanced knowledge of deadlines you’ll need to meet in order to enter the next available residency cohort. Our post NCLEX new graduates do NOT need to wait until the start of the next residency program to start working as a nurse, once we are able to verify your RN License through primary source verification, a start date will be established!

For both Pre and Post NCLEX we are accepting applications year round, with larger hiring events each Fall and Spring. New Hires will enter into the next available residency cohort, following their successful completion of the NCLEX Exam & EMMC Clinical Orientation. Job offers to New Graduates are made conditional upon completion of their school program.

Graduate nurses often begin on Med/Surg units. They receive an extensive unit-specific orientation that is individually tailored – and only complete – when the nurse, preceptor, and nurse manager feel the nurse is ready. This provides the foundation new nurses will need to expand their capabilities in the future.

Nurses with less than 6 months of experience can expect an orientation of 10 weeks*. During orientation, graduate nurses will work with their preceptors, educators, and managers to identify areas where they need additional practice and develop a set of goals ensuring ongoing success in their first year and beyond. 

*Position-specific, please speak with recruiter for details

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The Nurse Residency Program at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center is an evidence-based, 12-month program aimed at assisting new graduate nurses in the transition from academics to practice. Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center partners with the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program™, which operates at more than 350 healthcare organizations nationwide.

Since its establishment in 2002 through 2017, more than 72,000 new graduate nurses have participated in the program. Notably, The Institute of Medicine recently published The Future of Nursing report identifying actionable measures that will transform the nursing profession – specifically highlighting the importance of nurse residency programs for nurses entering the transition-to-practice. To date, the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program has reduced turnover rates among first-year nurses achieving an average retention rate of 95%, exceeding the national average of 75%.

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In addition to a hospital and unit-based orientation, the Nurse Residency Program consists of a 12-hour workshop day once a month, included as part of the scheduled 36 hour work week. Workshops include a 4-hour seminar, a small group evidence-based practice project, clinical immersion opportunities on various units, and simulation training at the NLH EMMC Simulation Lab.

Seminar topics are focused around one of three program components: Leadership, Patient Outcomes, and Professional Role. Topics are general in content to the nursing profession and organization as a whole and serve as a supplement your specialty-specific clinical training, focused on developing critical thinking, communication skills, and your role as a professional nurse and member of the inter-professional healthcare team.  

Workshops also include facilitated small group discussion and debriefing. This allows residents an opportunity to discuss the clinical application of the seminar topic as it relates to their own experiences to gain support, insight, and confidence in practice. The Nurse Residency Program is mandatory for all new graduates.

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Specific topics covered in the seminars are listed below and are subject to change:

  • Stress Management and Self-Care

  • Patient Care Coordination/Patient Care Delivery/Resource Management and Delegation

  • Emotional Intelligence/Difficult Conversations/Conflict Resolution

  • Patient Safety- Fall Prevention/Infection Prevention and Control

  • Behavioral Health, Substance Use Disorders, Geriatrics

  • Medication Administration/Pain Management

  • Management of the Changing Patient Condition

  • Skin Integrity and Wound Management

  • End of Life Care and Ethical Decision-Making

  • Cultural Competence/Patient and Family Teaching

  • Professional Development/Goal Setting

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Residents complete an evidence-based practice (EBP) project with an assigned small group. A list of potential topics is provided to help identify areas of need within Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, as well as education on the project development process. The goal is to plan and implement an evidence-based practice project that will positively impact nursing practice and patient care.

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Residents complete evaluations at the start of the program, and again at six months, 12 months, 24 months, and 36 months.

An e-mail with instructions will be sent to participants when it is time to complete the surveys, which will all be done electronically using an Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center employee ID as the login. Surveys are anonymous and are sent directly to Vizient. Eastern Maine Medical Center does not see any results until data collection is completed, and only then in aggregate form.

It is vital to complete the surveys not only for program development, but to help us measure critical data points such as retention and job satisfaction and compare against national benchmarks.

Currently, hospitals participating in the Vizient/AACN Nurse Residency Program have an aggregate turnover rate of first-year nurses of 5.6%, compared to the national average of 27.1%.

Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) contact hours will be provided. Evaluations must be submitted at the end of each workshop to receive credits.

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Each resident will be assigned to a small group, called a pod, with whom they will remain for the duration of the program. This pod will be led by a nurse facilitator who will serve as a mentor for the pod. This leader, along with nurses' peers, will be a source of support and guidance throughout the program.

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Student Nurses - Current nursing students preparing to graduate should apply directly to the "Staff Nurse (new grad only)" position posted on our Career page.

Newly Licensed Nurses - Nurses who have recently been licensed may apply to any open staff nurse position for which they qualify on our Career page. They will automatically be enrolled by Talent for the Residency Program once hired.

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For questions regarding new graduate nurse positions, contact:
Talent Acquisition
Phone: 207-973-7100
Email: talent@northernlight.org

For questions regarding the nurse residency program, contact:
Clinical Education
Phone: 207-973-7320
Email: clinicaleducation@northernlight.org