RN Residency in Pediatrics

About the RN Residency Program

At Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), it is our goal to take care of acutely ill and injured children in today’s increasingly complex technological environment. New graduate nurses need extended clinical experiences with appropriate support systems for a successful transition from nursing student to professional nurse.

At CHLA, we understand the needs of new graduate nurses as they integrate into the profession. To meet those needs, we use the Versant RN Residency in Pediatrics program, which provides the specific tools and experiences needed by new graduates to become successful pediatric nurses.

CHLA is the founding hospital of the Versant RN Residency. Created in July 1999, the 22-week program provides new nursing school graduates with a comprehensive clinical and learning experience to prepare them for work in an acute care environment. It has become the national model for new graduate nurse residency programs throughout the United States.

  • Important Dates
  • Resident Curriculum
  • How to Apply

The March 2017 cohort applications are now closed. The next cohort will be held in September 2017. Applications for the September 2017 cohort will open on March 6, 2017.

Online Applications

Applications for the September 2017 cohort will be posted online from March 6, 2017 at 5 p.m. through March 10, 2017 at 9 p.m.

Packet Deadline

The September 2017 cohort application packets will be due by March 27, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Interview Process

If you are selected for an interview, you will be notified via phone by May 6, 2017. Please allow Human Resources and the Unit Managers time between the packet deadline and interviews to review packets and make their selections. If you are not chosen for an interview, you will be notified via email at a later time. We appreciate your patience.

Upcoming Program Dates

  • September 2017
  • March 2018

One-to-One Preceptor Training

At Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), our RN residents spend 75% of the program time receiving one-to-one precepted training in the clinical setting.  Our preceptors are experienced bedside pediatric nurses who are specially trained to provide expert clinical guidance to the resident.

Skills and Practice

At CHLA, our RN residents spend the remaining 25% of the program time in the classroom and skills lab. These sessions are taught by our expert pediatric nurses and our subject matter experts. These sessions give the residents the tools necessary to make the transition from new graduate RN to specialty pediatric RN.

Dedicated Mentors, Coaches and Resources

A mentor is there to help guide the resident in their career development and provide them with the tools needed for them to grow professionally.

Supportive Debriefing

Our RN residents participate in supportive debriefing and self care groups throughout the program. Our debriefing sessions are mediated by various members of our multidisciplinary team. In these forums you can vent your stresses and share your experiences in a supportive and non-judgmental environment.


The looping experience is an individualized rotation/orientation to all appropriate hospital areas relevant to your selected unit.

Residency Benefits

  • Rapid promotional opportunities
  • Generous shift differentials
  • 401K
  • Flexible employee benefits package
  • On-site childcare

Qualifying Criteria

You are eligible for the RN Residency program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) if:

1. You have been out of Nursing school for two years or less.
2. You are a new graduate or an RN with a total of less than one year of nursing experience in any area by the start of the program.
3. You have a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing or a Master's of Science in Nursing.


Apply online using our Nursing Career Opportunities Search (while we are accepting applications). Scroll through the listings until you see the “Versant RN Residency Program” position.

Please complete the entire online application. Blank applications will not be accepted. A packet will be emailed to you within 4-5 business days after you have completed and submitted your application online.

Complete the Packet

Once you receive your packet you must complete the emailed forms, including the required documents:

  • A resume and cover letter
  • Current transcripts (official or unofficial)
  • Two letters of recommendation - one from a clinical instructor (preferably a pediatric instructor) and the second from another clinical instructor, professional or personal reference
  • Letter of Intent - a statement describing why you are interested in working for the unit you selected as your first choice on the "Specialty/Unit Preference" form. A template will be included in the emailed packet and should be limited to no more than one page.

Mail the packet with the above items to the Human Resources office at CHLA by the deadline (the address is included in the packet).

Current American Heart Association CPR Card

The card must be active at the start of the RN Residency program and does not expire for 6 months into the program.

Interview Process

After you submit your packet to the Human Resources Department at CHLA, it will be reviewed by the RN Residency committee. If you are selected for an interview, a Nurse Recruiter will contact you.

If you are not contacted for an interview by a nurse recruiter, then you were not selected for an interview and you will receive an email indicating so. The minimum requirement is a BSN or MSN and a GPA of 3.0 or above. The number of positions in the program are limited.

Note: You must have your active California RN license by the Monday prior to the start of the program (one week prior to the start of the program) and you must have an active American Heart Association CPR card to start the program.

Program Recognition

We are acknowledged throughout the United States and around the world for our leadership in pediatric and adolescent medicine. As a Magnet-designated hospital, CHLA is one of America’s premier teaching hospitals, affiliated with Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California for more than 73 years. We also are a national leader in pediatric research.

We are one of only seven programs accredited through the ANCC Practice Transition Program. We are Accredited with Distinction, which is the highest level of accreditation that the ANCC awards.

EEO Minorities/Women/Disabled/Veterans


Program Evaluation

At Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), we are constantly looking for evidence-based ways to grow and improve the RN Residency program.  Feedback of our previous RN Residents is precious to us in our efforts to improve our program.  We approach previous RN Residents at 1-year, 2-year and 5-years post-hire periods and ask them for feedback on how to improve our program.

Results of Previous Evaluations

Anonymous feedback that CHLA received from program graduates has resulted in significant changes to the way the program is delivered.  A few examples of changes we have made include:

  • Making classes more interactive
  • Increasing direct applicability to nursing practice
  • Decreasing the number of mentor meetings
  • Decreasing the number of debriefing meetings
  • Focused mentor meetings on career and professional development

Our evaluations also have helped us show the value of this great program as, over the last ten years, we have decreased turnover among new graduate nurses:

  • One year turnover rates: reduced from 36% to less than 6%
  • Two year turnover rates: reduced from 56% to less than 13%

Nursing Units and Specialties

Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) offers nurses and RNs the opportunity to specialize in several critical care areas including cardiovascular care, critical care, hematology-oncology, medical services, rehabilitation, and surgical. Read more.


Graduates of the RN Residency in Pediatrics Program have shared these thoughts with us:

"I am doing everything I did not think I would be capable of doing in the beginning."

"Getting to know a seasoned staff member provides a great connection to the hospital."

"I’m much more comfortable working on my own now than my former classmates who are at other hospitals with shorter orientation times."