Subscribe to Notes on Nursing, our monthly news digest.
Thank you for subscribing!
Please fill in your email to continue.
Nursing News HighlightsReal Nurses Real Stories

Nurse Residency Program Supports Recent Graduates through On-The-Job Education Program

Boasting a wide-ranging scope of practice and significant presence in patient care, nurses make up the largest percentage of the nation’s healthcare workforce. The demand for nurses continues to grow; however, an estimated 17.5 percent of nurses leave their first nursing job within the first year, often due to a lack of development programs in place to help recent nursing graduates navigate the transition between academic and clinical settings.

As the nation’s largest nurse-led clinic network for low-income communities, FPCN is a network of federally qualified community health centers that deliver primary care and other specialized services, like cardiology and nutrition, designed to treat the whole patient.

The integrated model is especially impactful for patients who access healthcare resources infrequently, and need to receive comprehensive healthcare in a manner that is quick, efficient, cost-effective, and close to home.

Donna L. Torrisi, MSN, FAAN, FPCN’s network executive director, leads the organization’s mission of providing the highest-quality care to those who may otherwise encounter challenges accessing primary care. After becoming a nurse practitioner in 1976, Donna realized the importance of establishing a healthcare model in which nurses are empowered to provide quality care in areas where healthcare can be scarce. In 1992, Donna opened her first center where patients could easily reach her to receive care — three renovated and combined apartments in a low-income community in Philadelphia.

Today, FPCN treats 24,000 patients each year across the Philadelphia area. The available services have expanded– in addition to primary care, patients also have access to behavioral health, dental, cardiology, nutrition, mind and body, physical therapy, and social services within each of the five health centers.

Donna continues to see patients for one half-day each week, in addition to her responsibilities as network executive director, to remain as close to patient and nurse needs as possible.

“Continuing to see patients helps me stay connected to the work nurses do and keeps me grounded in the day-to-day work,” Donna said. “That way, I can understand the types of problems patients are having and begin to understand how to address them. Of course, seeing patients also adds gratification to what I do. This is what I love.”

Donna shared that it’s a deep passion and a willingness to push boundaries for the sake of the patient that allows nurses to provide the best care possible. Nurses often spend more time with patients than other healthcare providers, giving nurses the opportunity to identify and understand the source of health concerns and conditions – due to lifestyle, occupation, or other factors – and provide personalized care to address the issue.

“Though it seems simple, treat others how you would like to be treated, or the way you would like your children to be treated,” Donna shared, noting courage, resourcefulness, and creativity as key characteristics of nurses with a desire to assist low-income patients.

For more information about FPCN, visit their website.

Latest from Johnson & Johnson Nursing
  • For nurses, more flexibility and better work/life balance are essential. Solutions like Mercy Works on Demand are meeting nurses where they are by offering a gig-based approach to scheduling. Not only is Mercy’s innovative approach addressing shortages and improving patient care, it is also bringing joy back to nursing and demonstrating that a new, flexible future is possible for the profession.
  • Building well-being and leadership skills in nursing isn’t a new concept, but surprisingly, it hasn’t traditionally been a formal component of nursing education. As a result, many nurses enter the profession unprepared for what’s ahead. Beginning this winter, a new educational curriculum from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing will pilot a competency-based approach to developing the next generation of nurses at 10 nursing colleges nationwide, focused on empowering students with the skills needed to prioritize self-care, healthy behaviors and well-being in the healthcare work environment.
  • Johnson & Johnson is proud to have supported nurse innovators and entrepreneurs through the Johnson & Johnson Nurses Innovate QuickFire Challenge Awards, which has provided grant funding for nurse-founded healthcare solutions and approaches. But the innovation journey doesn’t stop there. Here, three inspiring QuickFire Challenge awardees share what they’ve been up to since receiving their award, how their solutions have grown and expanded, and their advice for other nurses inspired to solve for healthcare’s biggest challenges.