Published on September 16, 2014

Graduate: Engaged Mastering Succeeding (GEMS)

Medical StudentsThe GEMS program is composed of 3 groups throughout the year – February, May and August. While each class varies in size, we generally hire 8-13 GEMS per cohort. We receive a wide variety of applicants from all over the country with varying level of degrees. The minimum requirement to apply is an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, however, a Bachelor’s degree (obtained or in process) is highly preferred.

The GEMS program consists of a 12 week orientation. The first 2 weeks are in the classroom followed by 10 weeks on the unit with a preceptor.

The group meets weekly to discuss progress as well as receive additional education on topics such as delegation, time management and prioritization. This is a safe space where GEMS can talk freely and without judgment. It is a time to come together as a group and have a dialogue about situations that everyone is going through together.

Another great aspect of the GEMS program is the shadowing experiences that happen in the first few weeks of orientation. Each GEM has the opportunity to go to the ED and practice IV’s, shadow a physical therapist, wound RN and the resource nurse. Then each unit has a specific area in which they will shadow. For example, the GEMS placed on our surgical units will go to the OR and observe surgeries and spend a few hours in the PACU. Cardiology GEMS will go to the cath lab for a few hours one day.  This gives the new nurses an opportunity to get a well-rounded view of what their patients go through.

In addition to weekly meetings with the GEMS coordinator and the entire group, the educators and managers are involved in the progress of the individual GEM. Weekly meetings are established to maintain a pulse on the GEM and the preceptor to make sure everyone is developing as needed.

Competition is fierce! We typically receive 350-400 applications for each cycle! Our GEMS come from all walks of life. While some are right out of undergrad, we also meet get GEMS who have made nursing a second career. We have promoted many of our Clinical Assistants to GEMS.  Everyone has something special to offer and we look forward to seeing how all these GEMS contribute to the success of Stamford Hospital.

“The GEMS program allowed me to transition from the student nurse to professional nurse smoothly. Throughout the transition I was supported by the GEMS coordinators and my co-workers on the unit. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be a part of the program” - Erica Valentine (Former GEM)

"At Stamford Hospital I have had the opportunity to grow professionally throughout different nursing roles—from Clinical Assistant to ED Tech, and now as a graduate GEMS RN. The GEMS program facilitated my last transition, especially because of the guidance and support that I received from my preceptor. I'm grateful to be part of this organization and plan to continue growing as a professional RN in the critical care area." – Milena Tuta – Pachon (Former GEM)

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