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Care Dimensions' hospice nurse residents receive extensive training, including patient care that is overseen by a preceptor.
Care Dimensions' hospice nurse residents receive extensive training, including patient care that is overseen by a preceptor.

New Hospice Nurses Reflect on Residency

Posted on April 25, 2023 by Lisa Conti

Care Dimensions’ Hospice Nurse Residency Program offers a comprehensive on-the-job learning opportunity for new nursing graduates and experienced nurses who are new to hospice. The program prepares residents to become hospice nurse case managers and supplies Care Dimensions with nurses who have been expertly trained in caring for patients and families who are dealing with a serious illness.

Five recent hospice nurse residency graduates share their takeaways from the program.

What part of the Hospice Nurse Residency Program especially appealed to you?

“I was drawn to the amount of support given in the first several months and knowing that there is extensive training provided. You don’t see that as much in other settings because of the nursing shortage. In this program, we get as much help and support as we need.”

  • Nicole Cahill, RN Case Manager, Greater Boston
    Former emergency medical technician who became a registered nurse and worked on the cardiac floor of a Boston hospital for one year prior to the residency

“It was a good combination of classroom instruction, field observation, and preceptorship with an RN case manager. It was important to watch and learn about the interdisciplinary team members’ roles because that team model provides a holistic approach to meeting hospice patients’ needs.”

  • Lisa Smart, RN Case Manager, North Shore
    A 2020 nursing school graduate who worked in family medicine at a community health center and later at an allergy, asthma, and immunology practice

“I am impressed and grateful at the depth of training that helped me learn the skills necessary for this differentiated field of nursing.”

  • Scott Barrett, RN Case Manager, Greater Boston
    Chose nursing after a long career in construction

Why did you apply to the Hospice Nurse Residency Program?

“If you had told me when I became a nurse that I was going to be working in hospice, I wouldn’t have believed you. Palliative care became a theme in my patient experiences in geriatrics and colorectal-urology surgeries, however. I wanted to shift to something more niche that allowed me more independence with my patient care.

  • Molly Kelley
    Former acute care nurse who worked for three years in a hospital medical-surgical unit

“I was introduced to hospice care during my senior year of college. That summer, I became a pet therapy volunteer with Care Dimensions. When I found out Care Dimensions offered new graduates with a program to gain experience as a nurse, I quickly applied. I had loved my experience as a volunteer and knew I would love to work in hospice.”

  • Autumn Lacharite, RN Case Manager, North Shore
    Graduated nursing school in January 2022 and worked in long-term care before her residency

“The hospice model better aligns with my beliefs in holistic care and gives patients and their families greater autonomy over their health care decisions. Everything we do surrounds what the patient wants, and every team member plays an important role. We are treating the patient as a whole and not just as a medical condition.”

  • Nicole Cahill

“When I discovered the residency program, a family member of mine had recently been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. I saw hospice and palliative care from a personal view and a professional one. I wanted to be able to provide patients and families with compassionate care, support, and education so they could remain comfortable and fulfill their goals for the remaining time they have.”

  • Lisa Smart

What are the main lessons you learned from the hospice nurse residency?

“I learned that I have so many different people I can go to, whether it be for asking questions or even debriefing about a certain situation. For example, when I started to grow my case load, I began to feel a little overwhelmed regarding a certain patient and their situation. My clinical manager and social worker did not hesitate to help me. They helped plan a face-to-face meeting and a facility meeting to try to manage the patient’s symptoms and helped me come up with interventions.”

  • Autumn Lacharite

“I always have a team ready to support me. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone at Care Dimensions is working toward a common goal.”

  • Scott Barrett

“I learned that you are never alone! Care Dimensions really embraces the beauty of a team. Whether it is my team in the field or my co-residents, it took both to get me to the confidence level I needed to have out in the field. I could not have asked for a better experience.”

  • Molly Kelley

Learn more about Care Dimensions’ Hospice Nurse Residency Program.

About the author

Lisa Conti is Senior Marketing Communications Specialist for Care Dimensions and manages its Voices of Care blog.


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Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore,  has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.

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