Jefferson Health opens Nurse Emeritus Program to retired area RNs

Young nurse putting the bandage on elder woman's hand

Jefferson Health is expanding its Nurse Emeritus Program allowing retired nurses from outside the health system to return to their practice, the organization announced last week.

The Nurse Emeritus Program will give recently retired nurses an opportunity to mentor and provide guidance to new-to-practice nurses.

The requirements for participating include an active New Jersey nursing license, a commitment to work a minimum of eight hours a month and having been a part of the workforce within the last three years. Participants will not perform hands-on clinical care or medical administration, rather educating and mentoring the existing RNs.

Participants will also receive training before starting the role and select the floor they believe is the best fit for their skills.

New Jersey Program Coordinator Marilyn Goodman spoke highly of the program’s history and is excited regarding the expansion process.

“We’ve had great success with our Nurse Emeritus program, originally offered to Jefferson Health nursing retirees, and we’re ready to take it to the next level,” she said.

Goodman further elaborated on the program being a “win-win” allowing retirees to re-enter the field and existing RNs to learn through experience.

The Nurse Emeritus Program was first established during the pandemic in 2022 with more than 12 nurses who had retired within the past three years joining the program at Jefferson in New Jersey, working everywhere from med-surg floors to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center in Washington Township, to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Current participants are grateful to continue serving the profession. Recently retired Debbi Tropp commended the program after previously working for Jefferson Health for 20 years.

“I’m thrilled with the opportunity to give back to my profession,” she said. “Once a nurse, [you’re]  always a nurse. It’s a tremendous opportunity for me to both share my knowledge and to also learn new things.”