Medical Recruiting Insights

Adaptive Medical Partners is leading the way for physician recruiting; in both placement and thought leadership, we are industry pioneers.



How Residency Programs for Nurse Practitioners Benefit Recruiting and Retention Efforts

Adaptive Medical Partners | Healthcare Administrators, Physician Recruiting

How Residency Programs for Nurse Practitioners Benefit Recruiting and Retention Efforts

In the ever-evolving landscape of American healthcare, innovative programs and methods increasingly are sought out by practitioners and practices alike. As care continues to transform more to a value-based performance model and with a projected shortage of physicians in the immediate future, combined with the fact of an aging population with greater medical needs, administrators need to identify alternative means of fulfilling their missions. Practices must provide higher quality care to more people with fewer physicians on staff. One partial solution might be nurse practitioner residencies and fellowships, an emerging trend in postgraduate education. The growing movement to create formal primary care nurse practitioner residency programs intends to add a layer of on-the-job training after formal schooling, similar to the residency programs for physicians.

Overview of Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Programs

The first nurse practitioner residency program began in 2007. Its basic program design, now replicated in other programs around the country, consisted of specialty rotations, supervised hours under physicians and other nurse practitioners in primary care settings, time spent working in a partner community clinic and classroom lectures. The most common model is a one-year family nurse practitioner residency in a community health primary care clinic that involves intensive orientations, assigned preceptors and mentors and a gradual assumption of increased responsibilities.

Because the programs aren’t regulated by any national governing body, the exact number of nurse practitioner residency programs currently active in the United States is not known. However, one survey found nearly 70 nurse practitioner residency and fellowship programs across the country. These programs are diverse in terms of geographical location, specialty area, organization type providing oversight and duration.

Benefits of Nurse Practitioner Skills

Family nurse practitioner residencies and fellowships are supported by the Institute of Medicine, which released a December 2015 update to its “2010 Future of Nursing Report,” which continues to support transition-to-practice programs. These programs aim to hone nurse practitioner skills, especially for community care or jobs serving populations with complex health and socioeconomic needs.

Though nurse practitioners graduate from their school programs already certified to practice primary care independently, the residency programs reinforce their knowledge as well as increase their level of confidence and expertise. Nurse practitioners have been shown to benefit from additional support in their first year of practice.

Benefits of Recruiting and More

These residencies and fellowships are an emerging strategy for hiring and retaining skilled primary care providers. This model can improve patient access, increase provider diversity and improve provider retention. Additionally, these programs attract fresh talent at a lower cost.

  • survey found 87 percent of nurse practitioners would be interested in post-graduate training if it were available. Most programs currently in place claim to have several more applicants per available space in their program.
  • Three nurse practitioner residents potentially can generate enough revenue to offset the preceptor’s time.
  • A survey of 254 nurse practitioners found that nearly 70 percent of those completing residencies claimed to be “satisfied” or “very satisfied.” If your practice can translate that job satisfaction into retention, then you can get a positive return on your investment.

If you’d like to explore recruiting strategies for your practice that meet your staffing needs and overcome your staffing challenges, contact Adaptive Medical Partners, premier physician and healthcare provider recruiting firm.