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Professional Development and Education

Continuing Education:

Bozeman Health is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Montana Nurses Association, an accredited approver of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Having this designation facilitates our ability to provide local access to quality continuing education opportunities.


Our direct-care nurses are above the national average for holding professional certifications, according to national database comparisons. Professional Certification is heavily emphasized at this organization. Certification differential pay, preparation-course offerings and organizational recognition are a few ways we support and encourage high professional certification rates.

Nurse Residency Program:

Guided by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Report on the Future of Nursing, we’ve built a program to help support nurses’ transition-to-practice. To help with a safe and successful transition to independent practice, new graduate nurses with no nursing experience complete a year-long Nurse Residency Program in addition to their extensive unit-specific orientation. Each cohort begins in September and ends in May.

Once you are employed with the health system, you are enrolled in the residency program. Meeting for four hours each month, the nurse residents are given the opportunity as a core group to talk, share case scenarios and develop critical thinking skills. The skills are resident driven and nurses also act as mentors for each other when they float to a different floor. The year-long program is designed to assist newly graduated nurses in acquiring the knowledge and skills to deliver safe, quality care that meets defined standards of practice.

How do I apply:

Our program is designed to help nurses who have graduated within the last six months with no working RN experience, and are employees of Bozeman Health. Here are the requirements:

  • Letter of intent to be in the program
  • Montana RN license
  • Commitment to monthly enrichment sessions for one year
  • Complete the Casey-Fink Nurse Survey at identified intervals
  • Participate in evaluations throughout the program
  • Completion of evidence-based project by the end of the cohort

Topics include:

  • Role transition
  • Patient-centered care
  • Communication/teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Quality improvement
  • Clinical reasoning
  • Leadership
  • End-of-life care
  • Pain management
  • Resiliency
  • Self-care
  • Legal aspects in nursing
  • Medication safety
  • Informatics
  • Professional development
  • Time management
  • Lateral violence
  • Inter-professional collaboration


How often is the program offered?
At this time we currently offer one cohort per year beginning in September.

How long is the program?
It starts in September and ends in May.

Who is eligible?
Any Montana licensed RN who has graduated from an accredited nursing program (AND, BSN, Accelerated BSN), within the last six months, and with no working RN experience.

How do I apply?
Please submit a letter of intent to Heather Tasker or Jacqueline Kussman after you have received notice of your hire date. There is no format, the letter is intended to provide us information about your goals for attending our program.

How many nurse residents are in each cohort?
The number varies from year to year. In the 2017-2018 there 23 residents.

How do you determine the topics you will cover in nurse residency?
Our Nurse Residency program is resident driven, which means that we provide content based on what is requested of our residents, what aligns with Bozeman Health’s mission, vision, and values, nationally recognized competencies from the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM)2010 report, and the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN).

Will my manager support my attendance in the program?
Yes! You have support from our Chief Nursing Officer as well as your manager and/or supervisor. You will be paid for your time in the Nurse Residency program.

Will I earn continuing education contact hours for participation?
Yes! For each session you attend, you will receive four contact hours for a maximum of 36 contact hours.

Here's what our nurses have to say:

“It is so helpful to have a group of people who can relate to you, share in your struggles, and understand the challenges the first year as a nurse can bring. It creates a feeling of support, security, and relief. It is also very helpful to have compassionate, non-judgmental mentors who you can ask all of your questions that you may have. “ - Kelley T
“Collaboration between departments is vital to safe patient care and building early relationships with other new nurses throughout our organization has helped foster this. Having a new nurse residency program is an excellent avenue to develop our new nurses and help them feel connected with our organization so they can enjoy a lasting career with Bozeman Health.” - Michelle K
"The nursing residency program proved to be very beneficial in helping me navigate the ropes of being a new nurse here at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. I learned effective communication techniques and obtained tips on time management that have served me well in my nursing career. I would highly recommend this program for all new graduate nurses! " - Angela McCormack, RN, BSN

Family Birth Center

"As a new nurse you see veteran nurses so effortlessly and effectively providing care. Being able to see that we were on the right track and address bumps in the road was quite beneficial in getting through what could have been a much more difficult first year in the profession." - Kees

Nurse Residency Program Leadership

Heather Tasker, MSN, RNC-OB
Program Director

Nurse Residency Human Resource Contact

Stacey Macaluso, System Manager of Talent Acquisition

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