Topeka (WIBW) _ It's tough to know how to do a job until you've actually done it.
That's the idea behind Stormont-Vail's WINGS program. It stands for Week of Intense Nurse Graduate Simulation.
Chip Marker, RN, program organizer, says it focuses on critical thinking, reasoning and preparation.
RNs go through a five-day program, while LPNs attend for three days. The week combines interviews about a person's fears, strengths and weaknesses with simulations of hospital situations, like a code blue, or a detail that was overlooked.
Marker says the program was developed with new nurses in mind, but, as they brought in nurses with more experience to help with development, they realized nurses of any level could benefit. Charge nurses will recommend an RN or LPN to take part. Marker says it could be for any variety of reasons, for example, someone who is showing good leadership skills or who needs a boost of confidence,
Blending a little and a lot of experience, Marker says, is a way the nurses help each other out and learn from each other.
Marker says the goal is improving the hospital experience for patients and making a safer environment for them. In addition, nurses gain skill and knowledge, plus they may realize their strengths may better suit them for a different area of the hospital.
The WINGS program is part of the reason Stormont-Vail was recently named a "magnet" organization by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet is considered the highest recognition for nursing excellence.