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Pediatric Nurse Residency Program

Critical Care Nursing

Do you want to be part of caring for critically ill children in a collaborative team environment, focusing on the care of the entire family? Do you enjoy complex care coordination and longer-term relationships with patients and families? Or are you excited about meeting families in emergency situations and helping them through some of the most challenging times in their lives? Do you deal effectively with quick thinking on your feet in stressful situations? Then this track will challenge you to learn and grow quickly in pediatric, cardiovascular, and neonatal intensive care and emergency nursing.

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

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Applicant eligibility

"I loved experiencing the nurse residency because I learned how to take care of a variety of patients over the first six months, thus making my transition to being an ER nurse much smoother! I couldn’t imagine learning how to be a nurse any other way!"

Aubrey Fink Cohort 13
Baylor University

  • Graduated from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program (BSN) or an entry-level master's of nursing program (MSN). Candidates graduating with an Associates degree only or from an Associate Degree-to-BSN who have worked as a licensed registered nurse and graduates from LPN-to-BSN are not eligible to apply.
  • Must be applying to serve in his or her first professional nursing role and cannot work as a registered nurse prior to the start of the residency.
  • Must pass the NCLEX prior to the start of the residency.
  • Applicants who have previously applied to the nurse residency program are ineligible to reapply.
  • Applicants may only apply to one of the three tracks.

Applicant requirements

"The Nurse Residency program is an amazing learning opportunity for newly graduated nurses. The residency's unique aspect of rotating to a variety of units helps you discover your weaknesses, strengths, and passions. I was grateful for the experiences that helped me grow into a competent and confident pediatric nurse! I also valued the members of my cohort, who were experiencing many of the same fears and worries. Having this network is like having an instant support system through both the difficult and exciting experiences."

Whitney Milburn, RN, BSN
Nurse Resident Cohort 10
Graduate of Texas State University

Complete the online application for Nurse Resident.

Submit an official or unofficial transcript from an accredited baccalaureate nursing program you are attending or attended. The transcript must reflect classes in progress or degree awarded.

Submit an essay of no more than 1500 words, using the most current APA format, covering these topics:

  1. Describe why you wish to be a Cook Children's nurse resident
  2. Describe your goals and expectations at the completion of the nurse residency.
  3. Explain how you demonstrate two of the Cook Children's values, which include caring, safety, integrity, collaboration, innovation and giving
  4. Describe why you feel you are best fit for the track you selected. 

All of the documents that you are sending must be submitted together in one e-mail to

Unofficial or official transcripts are accepted. Official transcripts only may be mailed to:

Nurse Residency
Department of Organizational & Professional Development
Cook Children's Health Care System
901 7th Avenue
Fort Worth, Texas 76104

(Please do not mail essays, resumes or unofficial transcripts.)

Selection process

"Every seasoned nurse tells you to prepare for the difficult first year following graduation of nursing school. However, spending my first year out of nursing school in the Cook Children’s Nurse Residency has made that transition so smooth. The Residency is all about peer support and strong mentorship. Throughout the residency, I never felt like I was alone because I had deep friendships with fellow residents who were also processing through the first year of real-life nursing. I also had seasoned nurse mentors from all over the hospital who invested in me as a person. They helped to give me a toolbox of knowledge and skills specialized to pediatric patients that one cannot learn in a textbook. It is amazing how many people have shaped me and given to me over the last year. I have learned more, laughed more, and loved what I do more than I ever thought I would."

Lauren Frey, RN, BSN
University of Mary-Hardin Baylory

A committee of nurse managers, nurse educators and the nurse residency managers will evaluate applications and select candidates for interviews. If you are selected for an interview, a Nurse Residency representative will call to arrange an appointment.


Program details

The Pediatric Nurse Residency is a 12-month program divided into two segments, Phase I and Phase II. Key components of our Pediatric Nurse Residency Program include class curriculum and clinical experience.

Phase I

"I greatly benefited from the small group environment and debriefing with the other residents. You experience a lot of emotions during that first year and it was very beneficial to have a close cohort of people who were experiencing the same things. I felt that we all grew together into the nurses that we are today. It's still very exciting to see the residents throughout the hospital and share new stories and experiences"

Stephen Sims, RN, BSN, CPN
Nurse Resident Cohort 8
Graduate of University of Texas Austin

At the beginning of the program, a mentor committed to supporting new staff members is paired with a nurse resident. That mentor is a personal professional contact, coach, and resource throughout the residency year.

Class Curriculum

"I feel that the nurse residency served as a great transition from being a novice nurse to a more competent professional. It's a great balance between cultivating autonomy while still having guidance through mentorship and academia. By the end of the residency, I felt that my commitment to the profession was strengthened and my decision making skills at the bedside were more developed."

Jibril Rodriguez, RN, BSN, CPN
Nurse Resident Cohort 9
Graduate of University of Texas Arlington

Clinical Experience

During Phase I rotations, each nurse resident works with a staff nurse "Unit Guide." Nurse residents benefit from the knowledge and guidance of an experienced nurse in the clinical setting as together they deliver patient care. This individualized training emphasizes critical-thinking skills, leadership, communication skills, evidence-based practice, patient safety, and professional career development. Our residents receive over 1800 hours of individual precepted clinical experience

Shadow week

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program
Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

"Since its inception, in my years as a manager of the nurse residency, I watched over 300 new graduate nurses blossom into confident, competent pediatric nurses in multiple subspecialties. I walk all over the medical center and I am in awe of the number of smiling faces of former residents educating and mentoring other new nurses, nursing students and taking charge of units. It is especially gratifying that 95% of former residents are still here because we've learned that the first year of nursing does not have to be one crisis after another. Rather, with support it can be a very exciting learning adventure!"

Dr. Ann Smith, PhD, CPNP, CNE
Nurse Residency Manager

Phase II

"Starting my career as a Nurse Resident at Cook Children's was definitely one of the best choices I have made thus far. This residency has made me a very well rounded nurse. I have gained knowledge and skills in many different areas and specialties. Class days are always full of learning experiences to grow your knowledge as well as allowing us to talk to our coworkers and peers and debrief about our experiences on the floors. I am confident that all of my experiences as a Nurse Resident have prepared me to be the absolute best nurse that I can be!"

Mandi Hamilton Cohort 15
Baylor University

Class Experience

Clinical experience

Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program
Pediatric Nurse Residency programPediatric Nurse Residency program

"My experience as a nurse resident built the foundation for my nursing career. The preparation received through classroom learning, clinical rotations, mentor support, and leadership engagement continues to help me today. Now, I have the unique privilege of being a manager of this wonderful program. I see nurse residents enter the organization excited, nervous, and occasionally intimidated. A year later, I watch enthusiastic, competent, and confident pediatric nurses graduate from the program. These nurse residents continue to make an impact throughout the organization in various roles, councils, and leadership positions. This program provides success and remarkable opportunities."

Amy Kotter, MSN, RN, CPN, CPEN
Nurse Residency Manager

Frequently asked questions

"I was privileged to be able to participate in the nurse residency here at Cook Children's Medical Center back in 2011. Not only did I have the opportunity to work in various areas of the hospital and be introduced to all of the wonderful staff that work in each area, I gained lifelong friendships with the nurses in my cohort—the majority of which still work here! Even after finding my home in the PICU and now transitioning into an educator role, I continue to be more and more aware of the rewards that the residency has given me as I continue to grow as a nurse. I have gained fulfilling, professional relationships; a better foundation in the care of the children that receive services here; and a broader perspective on how I can serve in my role as a nurse at Cook Children's. Three years later, the role of a nurse resident continues to be one of my proudest achievements and a badge that I wear proudly!"

Danika Meyers, RN, BSN, CPN
Nurse Resident Cohort 6
Graduate of University of Texas Austin

Can I apply for more than one clinical track?
You may apply for only one clinical track.

How many hours per week do the nurse residents work?
This is a full-time position that requires 68-80 hours per two-week pay period for the full 52 weeks, including weekends. The number of hours per week change to accommodate both didactic and clinical time.

Will I be working weekends and holidays?
Nurse Residents are full-time professional nurse employees. Thus, the schedule will include some weekends and holidays. Unit nurse managers and nurse educators collaborate to develop a schedule that best meets the resident's learning needs during the rotation. Generally, the nurse resident's schedule will be the same as the staff nurse mentor's schedule to whom the resident is assigned.

Do I get vacation time during my residency?
Residents receive the same vacation, paid holidays, and sick leave allowance as all new nurses.

What benefits does the residency program offer?
All health care and retirement benefits offered any new hire apply to those selected for Cook Children's Pediatric Nurse Residency Program.

What is a nurse resident hourly pay rate?
Human Resources has the exact figures and will discuss pay and benefits with you.

What types of scrubs are allowed?
You may wear any child-friendly, professional-looking scrub with close-toe shoes.

Questions regarding Nurse Residency program

Direct inquires to You can email us or call Nancy Murphy at 682-885-7596 Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 4:30 pm CST.

Nurse resident graduate feedback

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