McLeod Health Nurse Residency Program Holds First Graduation Ceremonies


(Florence, SC, December 10, 2020) – Ceremonies were recently held at McLeod Regional Medical Center and McLeod Loris Seacoast to celebrate the first graduating classes of the McLeod Health Nurse Residency Program.

The McLeod Health Nurse Residency Program provides a collaborative learning environment where nurses not only transition to a rewarding nursing career, but also grow and develop as nursing leaders. The program offers novice nurses a platform to assist in their transition from academia to practice.

This program goes beyond the standard hospital orientation program, allowing nurses to refine their nursing skills and enhance their prioritization, time and stress management skills. It maximizes learning by incorporating classroom training, hands-on skills validations, group activities and project implementation initiatives. This program enables nurses to establish new personal and professional relationships.

A Clinical Nurse Mentor guides each nurse on their journey throughout the program, working collaboratively with nurse managers, supervisors, nurse educators, clinical nurse managers and other nursing colleagues at McLeod to foster and support their professional growth.

“The Nurse Residency Program demonstrates our commitment to nursing excellence and enhancing the patient experience through developing knowledge of evidenced-based practices,” said Tony Derrick, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center. “This experience will set nurses on a path to innovation and discovery as they fulfill their calling.”

“The Nurse Residency Program will provide not only additional training to our new nurses who have just graduated, but also a community,” said Sherill Nielson, Chief Nursing Officer for McLeod Health Seacoast. “It will allow them to spend time with other new nurses who are experiencing similar feelings and concerns. The Nurse Residency Program will provide a work environment where nurses will want to learn and grow, which will in turn benefit the community.”

McLeod Regional Medical Center celebrated the graduation of 18 nurses from several areas throughout the hospital, including Emergency Services, Cardiology, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Observation Unit, Operating Room, Neurology, and Orthopedics/Neurosurgery. Each nurse received a certificate of completion as well as a Nurse Residency pin. The ceremony featured Initiative Presentations, where nurses grouped by their specialty presented an overview of a topic they chose to research and pilot. These initiatives reinforced the principles taught throughout the Nurse Residency coursework.

“As a new nurse, transitioning from nursing school was both terrifying and intimidating. The Nurse Residency Program not only helped refresh my knowledge of the body systems, but also develop better time management, organizational and stress management skills. You always hear that the first year is the hardest, but when you add in a pandemic, the year gets even harder. There were many times I doubted myself and did not think I would make it as a nurse, but between the Nurse Residency Program and the help I received on my floor, I survived my first year with my head held high. I will carry the knowledge and experience that I have gained through this program throughout my nursing career,” said Brandi Wiggins, RN, McLeod Regional Medical Center Cardiology Unit.

McLeod Loris Seacoast celebrated the graduation of 18 nurses – 11 nurses from McLeod Health Seacoast and seven nurses from McLeod Health Loris, representing Emergency Services, Medical/Surgical, and Intensive Care Units. Each nurse received a certificate of completion as well as a Nurse Residency pin. Collectively, the group developed a Patient Care Initiative, which they presented to nursing leadership prior to the graduation ceremony.

“This program is a great opportunity for new nurses to experience what is to come within the hospital,” said Randy Conrad, RN, McLeod Health Seacoast Medical/Surgical Floor. “I have grown as a nurse and look forward to implementing everything I have learned.”

About McLeod Health
Founded in 1906, McLeod Health is a locally owned and managed, not for profit organization supported by the strength of approximately 750 members on its medical staff and more than 2,700 licensed nurses (Registered Nurses; Advanced Practice Nurses – including Certified Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners and Certified Nurse Midwives; as well as Licensed Practical Nurses). McLeod Health is also composed of approximately 8,800 employees and more than 75 physician practices throughout its 18-county service area. With seven hospitals, McLeod Health operates three Health and Fitness Centers, a Sports Medicine and Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, Hospice and Home Health Services. The hospitals within McLeod Health include McLeod Regional Medical Center, McLeod Health Dillon, McLeod Health Loris, McLeod Health Seacoast, McLeod Health Cheraw, McLeod Health Clarendon and McLeod Behavioral Health. On the coast, the McLeod Health Carolina Forest complex has opened an Emergency Department and the first two of seven medical park office buildings as an extension of McLeod Loris Seacoast Hospital.