Follow DCH on Twitter! Like DCH on Facebook! Watch DCH Videos on YouTube! Keep up with DCH by visiting our newsroom!

DCH Health System is proud to be associated with the UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program. The program is a joint effort with The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing. The one-year program is built on an evidence-based curriculum and is highly interactive and supportive. Residents meet monthly with a mentor/facilitator.  

Who is eligible?
New graduates who work at least 56 hours per pay period are eligible to apply.


  • Membership in a supportive cohort allowing professional growth in a safe, protected environment.
  • Guidance from dedicated senior nurses and educators.  

The heart and soul of the residency is our group of experienced nurses, educators and faculty who function as mentors for the program. The nurses serving are handpicked for their clinical excellence and leadership skills. During monthly sessions called "tales from the bedside", new graduates are divided into small groups at the beginning of the year and paired with a mentor. This small group meets every month to discuss triumphs, tragedies and frustrations in a safe environment. Facilitated discussions about the topic of the month brings the content to a personal level. These mentors guide and support the resident nurse, assisting in the achievement of the goals of the program.  

Unanimously, this component is identified by the residents as the most meaningful part of the year.  

Monthly Seminar Content
Seminars are intended to layer on top of nursing school curriculum and general hospital orientation, not repeat content.

  • Stress Management & Self Care
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Nurse-Sensitive Patient Outcomes
  • End of Life Care
  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Cultural Competence
  • Professional Development  

We chose the UHC/AACN model for nurse residency because it has been used successfully by multiple prestigious academic medical centers. Since its inception in 2002 several benefits have been identified in numerous research studies of nurse residency program outcomes. As of 2013, there are now 90 UHC/AACN Nurse Residency Program sites in 30 different states, with two in Alabama at DCH and UAB.   The Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in its 2010 report, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, advocates residency programs.  

For more information, contact Ashley Gattozzi at 205-759-7283 or email  Click here to watch a video about our program