Colleen Gains

I’m a registered nurse and health system Magnet® program manager. Along with the director of Professional Practice and Regulatory Affairs, I’m responsible for maintaining Magnet® designation and overseeing shared governance, professional development (e.g., clinical ladder and certification) and many special annual events (i.e., the Nursing Excellence Fair, Nurses Week and various nursing retreats).

After spending 15 years in a different career and deciding to return to school to obtain my nursing degree, I received incredible support in the residency program and the hands-on learning to easily transition from a student nurse to a full-time, independent practitioner.

Why did the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program?
I was immediately drawn to Ohio State’s Nurse Residency Program because of its base in academia and opportunities to learn more about the overall medical center.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
When I was accepted into the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program, I felt like I‘d won the lottery. The residents in my cohort and I immediately bonded, and we still connect to share what’s going on in other areas of the medical center. We’re a unique type of family and will always be there for one another.  

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
When considering nurse residency programs, make sure to look for those that will provide you with the level of support you need and a “safe” environment to ask questions and share ideas. I found that in the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program and wouldn’t trade my experience for anything.

Jarrod Kissling

I’m a critical care registered nurse in the medical/surgical ICU at Ohio State East Hospital. I also help with Central Nursing orientation, am a member of the ICU Education Committee and am a “Skin and Wound Champion” for my unit.

One of the many benefits of the residency program is that as a resident, you’re given a platform to share your personal experiences as a new nurse and hear from others in different areas within the medical center. Having these opportunities to hear about and learn the ways others had overcome new graduate “growing pains” helped me stick it out when I was feeling overwhelmed, and remain a bedside nurse at East Hospital.

Why the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program
Knowing I wanted to pursue a nursing career and join my now-wife, who’s an Ohio State graduate and had just started a new job in Columbus, I was familiar with the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program and knew it would be a great next step for me after receiving undergraduate degrees in nursing and health studies at other Ohio universities.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
The residency program was an experience that enabled me to become very close to everyone in my cohort and build friendships that remain strong today. It also gave me a stronger foundation on which to grow my nursing practice, as well a group of nurses in the same situation with whom to grow.

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
Make the best of the opportunities that are presented to you, and give things a chance. You may not see the value in something when it’s right in front of you, but as you grow from your experiences and look back, you’ll be thankful for them.

Mark Ortenzio

I’m a registered nurse in the ICU at Ohio State East Hospital. In addition to my daily responsibilities, I help with Central Nursing orientation, ECG classes and ACLS certification, and I actively participate on the Education and Leadership Committee.

The Nurse Residency Program enabled me to learn new skills and build important connections and relationships that, as a result, have led to more opportunities and helped me take progressive steps in my career.

Why the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program
I obtained my degree from The Ohio State University College of Nursing and immediately knew I wanted to apply to the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Nurse Residency Program. In addition to wanting to stay in the Columbus, Ohio, area, I knew other nurses who highly recommended the program.

Growing up and completing my undergraduate degree in Columbus, I was very familiar with the city and Wexner Medical Center campus. My experience in the residency program further enabled me to become even more comfortable and establish a “foundation” in the hospital in which I work today.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
On a personal level, I made good friends with people I continue to see and get together with in and outside the hospital. Professionally, I have a great network of people from the program who work in different units and I can easily approach with information or questions.

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
I would highly recommend applying to the medical center’s Nurse Residency Program. Everything you learn and all of the connections you make are things you’ll take with you into your career. Be sure to ask questions, and know it’s OK to feel a little unsure. When you’re inquisitive and nervous, you stay sharp.

Sarah Marshall

I’m a patient care coordinator (aka staff nurse) in the IP Cardiovascular unit at Ohio State East Hospital. In addition to providing nursing care to patients, I facilitate the orientation of new nurses as a preceptor on our unit. I’m also a primary charge nurse on our unit and manage a variety of tasks, including organizing staffing during the shift and helping run and document ERTs or codes. Lastly, I’m the chairperson of my unit’s shared governance Unit Leadership Committee and a member of our hospital’s research, quality and evidence-based practice committee, SubQ.

The residency program included simulations and much discussion around the medical center’s policies, procedures and resources that are in place and available to help the nurses and staff. For instance, we talked about common conditions and treatment of our patients, as well as death and dying, substance abuse, stress reduction and time management. Learning about and simulating different scenarios has helped me become more knowledgeable and confident in my role as a nurse.

Why the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program
After starting my job at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, I ultimately chose the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program to continue my education after receiving an undergraduate degree elsewhere. While considering my residency options, I learned that the program would be tailored to the work I was already doing, and I could complete orientation on my particular unit. For me, I wanted to know what I was getting into, who my manager would be and more about the culture and feel of the unit beforehand, and the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program provided that.

I didn’t experience a difficult transition; I actually thought it went pretty smooth. I had just finished my last semester of undergraduate where I was already being precepted. In my preceptorship in undergrad, I was task-oriented and focused on building my skills. Being precepted as a new hire in the residency program enabled me to become more independent and focus on critical thinking and clinical judgment while still continuing to build my skill set as a nurse.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
I am very proud of being part of this family and have grown immensely since coming to the medical center! Even during challenging times, I know I have the support of so many great people around me, and that makes all the difference. The people who led nurse residency and who were part of the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program are still helping and mentoring me today. It has been a huge blessing.

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
Weigh your options carefully, and try to determine what you want in the long run: Where will you learn the most, get the best experiences, grow in your professional development, have the resources to provide the best care to your patients and feel supported by your leadership and colleagues?

For me, it was an easy choice to work at the medical center and join the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program. I value that The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is an academic environment at which the focus is on evidence-based and best practices. As a nurse, I feel I have the support and resources to continue to learn and always provide the best care possible to patients. Plus, what’s better than being a Buckeye?!

Valerie Tiu

I’m a nurse manager of both pre- and post-anesthesia care and surgical extended recovery units, helping ensure safe care of patients during their time in the hospital. Specifically, I ensure that our budgets and safe staffing levels for both units are maintained, manage staff schedules, complete staff performance evaluations and interviews and advocate for unit needs throughout the organization.

During my residency, I met people from all different “walks of life” and established relationships with many who I still see today. It was great to bounce ideas off each other and provide each other with that extra support outside of our respective units. The residency program connected us, and we know we can continue to count on each other today.

Why the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program
I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree at The Ohio State University and my bachelor’s degree in Nursing from Capital University. I moved from New Jersey to Ohio to attend school, and I was always drawn to The Ohio State University. I considered other residency programs at the time but ultimately decided to stay where I was and in a familiar place.

I immediately felt like Columbus was home. I love that Columbus is a smaller city that offers big city amenities.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
It’s been very rewarding to see myself grow from a novice to professional nurse, as have many of my former, fellow residency cohorts. And, as part of my current role includes managing new graduates in the residency program, I feel I’ve come full circle and am able to relate to and help those individuals learn and grow.

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
I highly recommend considering where you want to go and looking into the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program. Ask a lot of questions and take advantage of the resources available to you. I would also suggest shadowing nurses in different units and on different floors, if possible. You’ll feel overwhelmed at times; take time for yourself and consider finding a mentor to help guide you.

Robert Wanner

I’m a nurse manager of the Progressive Care Unit (PCU) “float pool,” which includes more than 70 registered nurses who service 21 units throughout the medical center.

One of the benefits of the residency program was the opportunity to develop important relationships with people in my cohort who continue to be a part of my life and resources for guidance and information in my role today.

Why the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program
I obtained my Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from The Ohio State University College of Nursing. Fortunately, the Buckeye Nurse Residency Program was launched and built into my orientation shortly before my transition to staff nurse. The Buckeye Nurse Residency Program provided me with a variety of resources to become successful in my new role.

Having grown up in the Columbus, Ohio, area, and working with nurses on the medical center campus while attending Ohio State, I was already very familiar with my surroundings when I started my residency.

What it means to be part of the Buckeye family of former nurse residents
The Buckeye Nurse Residency Program opened doors to a network of new friends, resources and opportunities that have led me to where I am today.

Advice for nursing undergraduates contemplating next steps post-graduation
Whether or not you know or try to envision your path as a nurse, don’t limit yourself, and be open to every opportunity.

Share this Page