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Program combats theory that ‘nurses eat their young’

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health,

There’s a common saying in the nursing profession: “Nurses eat their young.” It refers to the unfortunate trend of experienced nurses bullying less experienced nurses. Verbal abuse or harsh treatment from a colleague is to blame for some 60 percent of new U.S. nurses leaving their first job within six months, according to industry statistics.*


Adventist Midwest Health is combating that trend with its New Graduate RN Residency program. Building upon the success of its inaugural 2009 class, Adventist Midwest Health welcomed 24 nurses into its 2010 class in August. The program was developed to help new nurses begin their career with guidance from experienced staff, providing education and training to new nurses as they begin to care for patients in the busy hospital setting. 


“Our goal is to develop these nurses as they transition from student to safe and competent practitioners,” said Katie Weibel, new graduate RN educator at Adventist Midwest Health. “Nursing school can not fully prepare these candidates as they enter the atmosphere of a hospital; they need real work experience. Our program allows them to function as nurses with additional support from experienced staff.”  


The competitive program places new nursing school graduates in frontline hospital jobs at a time when jobs for new graduates are scarce. An astounding 372 nurses applied, but just 24 nurses were hired. From there, 13 nurses were placed to work at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, five at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, four at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, and two at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.


“The graduates selected to participate in this program are truly the cream of the crop,” Weibel said. “They are all extremely excited and eager to practice and learn in such a supportive and nurturing environment.”


Hospital leaders decided to expand the 2010 class after receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from patients and physicians on the 2009 class. In 2009, 204 nurses applied and 14 were hired to the program. Eight of those nurses achieved certification in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) and one of members of the 2009 class was chosen to precept a member of the 2010 class.


“Providing nurses with opportunities for professional growth and development furthers our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ,” said Jackie Conrad, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital. “We cannot provide excellent patient care without recruiting and retaining highly qualified nurses.”


Nurses hired into the program are required to sign a two-year contract upon acceptance. During their first year, the nurses will be trained by preceptors, experience classroom instruction, and participate in cohort meetings that will allow them to work in teams and discuss their overall understanding of the process and their experiences. They will be trained in the eight areas: prioritization and organization, communication, safety, clinical reasoning, role socialization, delegation and supervision, research utilization, and their specific clinical area of practice.


The members of the 2010 class, with their unit and hometown, are as follows:

Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital:

  • Cassandra Adams, medical/surgical, of Naperville
  • Rachel Scalzitti, medical/surgical, of Westmont


Adventist GlenOaks Hospital: 

  • Leslie Fiedler, medical/surgical, of Carol Stream
  • Andrea James, medical/surgical, of Bensenville
  • Lauren Stamos, medical/surgical, of Des Plaines
  • Cassandra Waramit, medical/surgical, of Carol Stream


Adventist Hinsdale Hospital:

  • Lisa Bokios, telemetry, of La Grange Park
  • Kristen Budiselich, telemetry, of Tinley Park
  • Rachel DeGroot, medical oncology, of Elmhurst
  • Paul Groenewold, coronary care unit, of Crestwood
  • Hannah Klamm, neuro stepdown, of Glen Ellyn
  • Stephanie Lundby, medical oncology, of Shakopee, Minn.
  • Stephanie Masella, operating room, of Naperville
  • Andrea Nelson, operating room, of Orland Park
  • Katie Norris, nursing resource, of Woodridge
  • Jennifer Piper, behavioral health, of Roselle
  • Nina Stryczula, medical oncology, of Lockport
  • Giedre Zastarskis, neuro stepdown, of Glen Ellyn
  • Marie Zelhart, ortho/surgical, of Woodridge


Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital:

  • Kristin Cacciottolo, emergency department, of Chicago
  • Breanna Murphy, medical/surgical, of Schaumburg
  • Emily Hagen, medical/surgical, of Burr Ridge
  • Lauren Pietrucha, telemetry, of Wood Dale
  • Anna Thiel, medical/surgical, of Burr Ridge



Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit


* as cited in