June 8, 2023

Mentorship, peer support earn 9 nurses promotions at Madigan AMC

Editor's Note

On May 23, nine new first lieutenants and friends were promoted as registered nurses in the U.S. Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, as reported by Madigan Army Medical Center (AMC).

“We were really close from the beginning and I think we just all wanted to do it together because…we really support each other,” said First Lieutenant Sarah Wuerker, a recently promoted nurse.

The group trained alongside medical-surgical nurses in the Army Clinical Nurse Transition Program (CNTP) at Madigan AMC, which allowed them to gain critical experience in care techniques, watch and learn from experienced leaders, and build relationships and insight into the unique field of medicine and soldiering. Their promotion will allow them to stick together at the base for the next year or longer.

“The energy, drive and motivation this group has is so special. Since stepping on the unit, they’ve all set such a high standard in medical-surgical nursing care and leadership,” said First Lieutenant Julia Blum, clinical nurse officer-in-charge of 6 South and 7 North medical-surgical wards.

The U.S. Army is not alone in creating peer support programs for learning and skills training. Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho, leveraged a manager-mentor program to provide new nurse managers with vital peer support.  The buddy system for new leaders has helped to optimize onboarding and orientation, accelerate a new leader’s speed to competence, and improves retention.

“It’s cool to take that next step in the Army, continue our careers, and it was really awesome we got to do it together as a class,” said First Lieutenant Jessica Olejar.


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