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Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Residency (PB-RNR) Program

The Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Resident (PB-RNR) program at Hines VA offers newly graduated Registered Nurses the opportunity to participate in a 12-month training program, working under the guidance of preceptors in a variety of clinical areas.

Hines VA Hospital nurses conduct training.

About Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital

Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital (Hines) is located 12-miles west of downtown Chicago, sits on a 147-acre campus that offers primary, extended, and specialty care services within the VA Great Lakes Network and Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 12 of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Hines was the first VA to be named after a person and is the largest in the state of Illinois and treats approximately 57,000 Veterans.

The hospital has a rich history of providing quality care to our nation’s heroes, and recently celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021. Hines is a 1A complexity teaching hospital that offers comprehensive inpatient, outpatient, long-term care (LTC), and residential services. The facility operates a 483-bed hospital, with specialized services, including Spinal Cord Injury, Blind Rehabilitation, Polytrauma, hospice and palliative care, medical oncology, radiation oncology, acute rehabilitation, interventional cardiac catheter lab, GI lab, Community Living Center, and more.

Specialty surgical services such as bariatric surgery, kidney transplant, orthopedic, urology, neurosurgery, and cardiovascular, among others with state-of-the-art surgical robots and operating rooms. Hines offers robust mental health services, including inpatient psychiatric unit, Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (SARRTP), outpatient mental health clinics, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Opiate Treatment Program (OTP), and integrated mental health care within Primary Care services.

In addition to the main hospital campus with primary care and specialty clinics, Hines has six Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs). The outpatient clinics are located in Kankakee, Hoffman Estates, Oak Lawn, Aurora, LaSalle, and Joliet areas.

Program Overview

The Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurse Resident (PB-RNR) is a newly graduated Registered Nurse who participates in a 12-month trainee program, working under the guidance of preceptors in a variety of clinical areas. As a nurse resident you will participate in a comprehensive plan of study incorporating both didactic and clinical experiences with the focus of transitioning from a novice to competent nurse who is skilled in caring for Veterans and their families.  

The curriculum of the 12-month residency program is based upon the Commission on Collegiate Nurse Education (CCNE) standards for entry to practice nurse residency programs and is centered on leadership, patient outcomes, and professional role development.  

The curriculum is also designed to reflect a progression from care of the general, non-acutely ill patient, to the more complex or specialty patient population.  Residents participate in weekly didactic sessions and coursework to support their professional role transition, safe care delivery, advancement in critical thinking, and development of evidenced-based clinical care.

Mission, Goals and Expected Outcomes


The PB-RNR program for newly graduated nurses will provide support to the residents with an extended training program to enhance the development of skills and confidence in practice while ensuring a positive transition from novice to competent nurse. Residents will be provided with both experiential and didactic learning opportunities, with an added focus on Veteran-centric topics.  In understanding how evidence-based care is essential in providing the best outcome(s) for the Veteran, the residency program will include evidence-based practice (EBP) curriculum to support knowledge and application into the PB-RNR’s nursing practice.  Overall, the residency program will support the newly graduated nurse in creating a solid foundation as they enter their nursing career. 


To support the transition and development of newly graduated nurses in delivering safe and competent Veteran-centric nursing care.

  • Ensure transition of newly graduated nurses to develop safe and competent veteran-centric nursing practice using an academic residency model.
  • Apply evidence-based knowledge into nursing practice.
  • Support the development of professional and leadership behavior.
  • Examine the impact of this program on resident and stakeholder satisfaction
  • Enhance the recruitment and retention of VA nurses.
Expected Outcomes  
  • Eighty percent of residents will complete the one-year training program.
  • Eighty percent of residents transition from an entry-level novice to an Advanced Beginner or Competent registered nurse on the standardized Residency Competency Assessment (RCA) tool developed by OAA, as achieved by average score of “5” or higher in all 22 competency domains on preceptor rated and resident competency assessment.
  • Eighty percent of residents report increased self-confidence in providing nursing care on the Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Survey tool, as achieved by averaged score of “3” or higher on all questions (except the 4 questions where a score of “2” or lower are related to improvement).
  • Eighty percent of residents report improvement in clinical judgment and communication to a moderate extent or higher on the Hines End of Program Evaluation and score of “5” or higher within the Communication, Management of Patient Care Delivery, and Management of the Change in Patient Condition domains of the RCA.
  • Eighty percent of residents report increased knowledge and application of evidence-based nursing practice to a moderate extent or higher on the Hines End of Program Evaluation and score of “5” or higher within the EBP domain of the RCA.
  • Eighty percent of residents identify professional development goals and formulate an individual career plan that promotes life-long commitment to professional nursing.
  • Eighty percent of residents and stakeholders report satisfaction with the PB-RNR program on the Trainee Satisfaction Survey (TSS) and Hines PB-RNR End of Program Evaluation, as achieved by averaged score of “3” or higher on both evaluation tools.
  • Seventy-five percent of residents are hired into permanent RN staff positions at Hines.
  • Of those residents who were hired into permanent RN staff positions, sixty percent will remain working within VA at both one year, two year, and five years post residency completion date. 


Benefits of the Post-Baccalaureate Nurse Residency Program (PB-RNR)

  • Enhance your nursing clinical and leadership skills.
  • Experience a Veteran-centric learning and practice environment.
  • Increase your confidence in providing competent nursing care to complex patients in a variety of settings that may include acute/critical care, medical-surgical services, outpatient services, mental health, rehab/long term care, geriatrics, spinal cord injury, or other specialty areas.
  • Paid position
  • Accrue sick and annual leave
  • 11 paid Federal Holidays
  • Tour of Duty:  Monday to Friday, 0730 – 1600 (no nights or weekends)
  • Health benefits offered
  • Hiring preference for open positions within the facility with successful completion of the program


Program Eligibility Requirements

  • Recent or soon to be graduate of a pre-licensure BSN or MSN (entry level) degree program accredited by Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (*recent is defined as 12 months or less from time of graduation to the start date of the upcoming nurse residency program).
  • Ability to obtain Illinois RN licensure prior to program start date
  • No previous RN work experience. 
  • Preferred cumulative GPA of 3.0 from your nursing program
  • Active BLS certification
  • Be a U.S. Citizen and meet standards for onboarding including background/security investigation as required by the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital
  • Additional information on Eligibility to be a VA Health Professions Trainee can be found here: Am I Eligible? Checklist for VA HPTs

How to Apply

Application Packet Requirements
  • Personal Statement (1-2 pages):
    • Why you are interested in the Hines VA PB-RNR program
    • Why you desire to work with the Veteran population
    • Share your philosophy of nursing
  • Resume
  • Copy of current CPR card
  • Professional letters of reference (minimum of two)
    • At least one from a clinical faculty, speaking to your academic or clinical performance
    • Can be emailed directly to from whomever is providing the reference.  Please encourage the sender to put your name and PB-RNR Reference in the Subject Line to ensure receipt. 
  • Copy of Current Official Transcripts
    • Transcripts should be electronically sent/released from the school to the PB-RNR Program Director:
    • If graduating soon, do not wait for confirmation of degree – send current transcripts showing accumulated GPA up to current time point
Application Submission

Complete application and/or any questions should be directed to:

Leena Xavier MSN,RN,CRRN

PB-RNR Program Director

ext. 25020


*Next cohort start:  September 5, 2024
*Applications due by May 1, 2024