By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Eastside Medical Center celebrates Nurse Residency graduating class of spring 2016
Developing the Future of Healthcare, One Nurse at a Time

By Staff Reports

Snellville – Eastside Medical Center recognized 14 nurse graduates of the 2016 spring class in the Versant Registered Nurse (RN) Residency Program on June 9.

Nurses from the hospital’s third and growing residency program are: Chere Amsterdam, RN; Alicia Blythe-DeRizzio, BSN, RN; Amanda Brook, RN; Christina Carter, BSN, RN; Galyn Everett, BSN, RN; Natasha Lee, RN; Cassandra Moyers, BSN, RN; Josie Muriel, RN; Jennifer O’Neal, RN; Hellen Rogel-Fidencio, BSN, RN; Samantha Russell, RN; Jed Tiller, RN; Ngoc Gia Trang, BSN, RN; and Nikimberly Wedlowe, RN.

"The Versant New Graduate Residency Program has been a game changer for Eastside Medical Center,” said Stuart Downs, chief nursing officer. “Since its inception, 44 new nursing students have entered the workforce at Eastside, and each has been instrumental in helping us drive and enhance the professional practice of nursing.”

Eastside partners with the Versant RN Residency Program to deliver comprehensive education and training to transition newly graduated nurses into the professional nursing world. The program also celebrates each individual and their nursing journey.

Versant was formed in response to the challenges facing nursing in today's world in May 2004. The name Versant is derived from the word conversant, which means, "to be well informed about or thoroughly knowing" a field of expertise.

Downs said the success of the 18-week, competency-based, outcomes-driven residency is credited to the hospital’s incredible preceptors, subject matter experts, mentors and debriefers.

“Value in healthcare is measured in part by the outcomes achieved from a quality and service standpoint, and it is evident that our residents contribute to the overall value of patients who entrust his or her care to Eastside Medical Center,” he said.

Nurses in the program expressed appreciation for personal recognition from Downs and Caroline Ashman, director of professional development for Eastside. Stories were shared about the passions that sparked these bright individuals to pursue nursing, the experiences that made them feel like a family unit, and the lessons they have learned throughout the program that will help them be stronger and more capable nurses in the future.

Many graduates also expressed that the program significantly helped them to feel better prepared to aid their future patients with ease and compassion.

Stuart Downs Cheif Nursing Officer 190Left: Stuart Downs, Cheif Nursing Officer, and "Rookie of the Year" award recipient Hellen Rogel-Fidencio, BSN, RN

Hellen Rogel-Fidencio, BSN, RN, was named “Rookie of the Year,” an honor awarded based on essays submitted by each nurse in the program reflecting on their program journey and nursing mission. “Eastside is my family,” she said after accepting the award. Rogel-Fidencio shared that the program helped her decide that Eastside is where she wants to pursue her future nursing career.

“In a world where nursing continues to be one of the most trusted professions, Eastside Medical Center aims to better equip these nurses who have recently graduated with necessary skills they will need at the bedside,” said Ashman. “This program also connects nursing to culture of caring represented by our mission: Above all else we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.

Recent or soon to be RN graduates from an accredited associate or baccalaureate nursing program interested in applying for the Versant RN Residency program at Eastside Medical Center can find more information and apply at EastsideNurses.com. The program includes classroom learning, simulation learning, and on-site bedside immersion with preceptors.

Eastside Medical Center is a 310-bed, multi-campus medical center serving patients in Gwinnett and surrounding counties for more than 35 years. Nationally recognized for patient safety, Eastside’s comprehensive medical and surgical programs include heart and vascular, neurosciences, cancer, orthopedics, rehabilitation, sleep medicine, women’s services, spine and wellness center, wound care clinic, center for weight loss, behavioral health and 24-hour emergency care. Eastside Medical Group provides primary care for patients of all ages in several community office locations. The Eastside Medical Center main campus is located at 1700 Medical Way in Snellville; the South Campus for Behavioral Health and Inpatient Rehabilitation is located at 2160 Fountain Drive in Snellville; the Loganville Digital Imaging Center is located at 3445 Georgia 81 in Loganville; and the Breast Imaging & Diagnostic Center is located at 1700 Tree Lane in Snellville. For more information, visit EastsideMedical.com.