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Penn State Health St. Joseph is a non-profit healthcare network consisting of St. Joseph Medical Center, the Downtown Reading Campus, St. Joseph Medical Group, St. Joseph Physician Hospital Organization and the St. Joseph Medical Center Foundation. St. Joseph has national accreditations for its centers of excellence for Chest Pain, Stroke, Heart Failure and Cancer Care, as well as being a Baby-Friendly USA’s Baby-Friendly Designated Birth Facility.

Today, St. Josesph is a center of excellence for professional nursing practice. This is accomplished through a holistic and interdisciplinary approach to patient care and quality outcomes. We are dedicated to the health, education and wellness of the community. The core values that guide us as are: reverence, integrity, compassion and excellence.

Nursing Careers

Nursing Careers

Find open nursing positions

Education and Development

It is our belief that by encouraging and promoting the development and growth of all our nursing staff that we will continue to enhance the patient care experience.

  • Clinical Ladder
    • The ladder is based on Patricia Benner’s Conceptual Model of Excellence.
    • Eligibility includes all full time, part time, and per diem Registered Nurses who function 50% of their work time in clinical patient care.
    • Five levels of achievement with participation eligibility beginning at the completion of one year of service.
  • Tuition Reimbursement for continuing education
  • Specialty Certification
    • Assistance toward obtaining initial certification and a yearly annual award for maintaining a specialty certification

Graduate Nurse Residency

The Quality and Safety education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies define quality and safety competencies for nursing and are reflected in the New Graduate Residency Program curriculum.

Now hiring Fall graduates into our January 2021 Nurse Residency Program!

Apply today or contact Natalie Speece with any questions at nspeece@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

How to apply?

Complete an online application and attach the following documents to help us understand your nursing goals. If you have any difficulty uploading documents please forward them to Natalie Speece at nspeece@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

  • Resume – Include all education and experience, including dates.
  • Cover letter – Start with “Dear Nurse Manager,” and introduce yourself and your goals.
  • Unofficial transcript – This can be found on your school’s website.
  • Clinical narrative – Your narrative will be most beneficial if you write about a specialty where you hope to interview.

Frequently asked questions:

Is this a paid nurse residency?

Yes, all graduate nurse residents are selected to fill permanent staff nurse positions on the hiring unit. You will receive a full RN salary and comprehensive benefits beginning the day you start new employee orientation.

What shift will I be working?

You will most likely be assigned to a full-time night-shift rotation. Once the orientation period is complete (12 to 20 weeks), you will be able to apply to open positions on your unit. Your full-time status must be maintained for one full year.

I already have my RN license. Must I complete a nurse residency in order to be hired?

Yes, all new graduates without experience are required to be licensed and complete our Graduate Nurse Residency program. However, if you have a minimum six months of hospital acute care RN experience, you can apply for a staff nurse position and potentially be hired without the residency.

What happens if I fail boards before the residency begins?

Unfortunately, our policy states that you will need to pass boards to be eligible for a current position. If you can retake and pass boards before your scheduled start date, plan to do so. If not, contact your recruiter to discuss other options.

Is there a minimum GPA for acceptance?

Because the residency is an extension of the studying/learning experience, a GPA of 3.0 and higher is preferred.

Is a BSN required in order to be hired as a Graduate Nurse Resident?

No. If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing prior to the start date of the Graduate Nurse Residency program, you are encouraged to enroll in a BSN program and after six months of employment will be eligible to participate in the tuition reimbursement program.

Graduate nurses are hired year round and the formal Residency Education begins twice a year. The program spans 12 months and is composed of monthly meetings to facilitate the transition from student to professional nurse.

Objectives of the New Graduate Nurse Residency Program

Professional Socialization

  • Summarizes the clinical experiences and challenges of the transition from student to professional nurse.
  • Integrates effectively with both nursing and inter-professional teams to maintain a climate of mutual respect and positive patient outcomes.
  • Builds professional relationships.

Technical Skills/Clinical Reasoning

  • Demonstrates clinical competency.
  • Promotes patient safety in the clinical setting.
  • Analyzes patient data to plan and prioritize patient care.


  • Communicates effectively with patients, family and the professional team.
  • Coordinates patient care with the inter-professional team and the patient/family.
  • Promotes patient safety and patient care quality.
  • Integrates Evidence Based Practice into the clinical setting.

Patient Care Areas

Critical Care

2 South

The Critical Care Unit is a 30-bed inpatient unit comprised of private patient rooms with breakaway doors. 15 beds dedicated to critical care and 15 beds dedicated to intermediate care. All rooms are dialysis capable.

The Critical Care Unit provides care to adult (18 years or greater) to geriatrics.

Intermediate Care Unit (IMCU)

Patient population will include but not limited to: Post-operative day 2 Cardio-thoracic patients, Vascular surgical patient’s (peripheral bypass, carotid endarectomy), Cardiology intervention patients (post angioplasty/stenting, valvuloplasties, Watchman procedures, uncomplicated TAVR), Neurosurgical patients(cervical/lumbar laminectomies), uncomplicated abdominal surgery, hemodynamically stable stroke/sepsis/cancer/potential overflow patients.

Emergency Department

Emergency Department

The Emergency Department has 27 patient bays, which are designed for providing immediate treatment and stabilization of patients with any injury, condition, or disease entity. Two bays are capable of accommodating two patients. The main Emergency Department has 29 beds. One bay has been designed as a Resuscitation Room (“Hot Room”). There are two designated behavioral health rooms with close observation capabilities. There are three treatment rooms in the triage area utilized for screening patients.

Clinical Decision Unit (CDU)

The Clinical Decision Unit (CDU) is a new 15 bed unit with the mission of facilitating the transition of patients from the Emergency Department (ED) to the appropriate inpatient unit. Staff complete assessments and admissions while providing a comfortable safe environment for patients and families.

The vision of this unit will be to be a bridge between ED and inpatient. Currently functions as an extension of the ED to help with throughput of patients.

Maternal Child Health

Family Birthing Center

The Family Birthing Center, Garden Level South, is a 15 bed inpatient obstetrical unit. The Unit is equipped with an Infant Abduction Protection System. The Mother-Baby nursing model is utilized in this area. Each LDRP and Postpartum Room is equipped with an Infant Care Area and Family Area. The Family Area provides sleeping accommodations for a support person during the hospitalization. Whirlpool tubs are located in each LDRP for alternative pain management.

The unit provides care to females of childbearing age ranging from gestational age of 20 weeks to term, including normal vaginal labor and delivery, preterm labor with transfer to tertiary care facility as needed, Cesarean section delivery, antenatal testing, observation and treatment of antepartum patients with problems related to pregnancy and mother-baby couplets.


The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a 6-bed inpatient level II unit. Access to the NICU is maintained by secured access doors. The unit is equipped with an Infant Abduction Protection System. It is divided into six private patient care areas equipped with a central cardio-respiratory monitoring system.

The NICU is a level II nursery for care of the high-risk population. The NICU provides care to mildly compromised (28-40 week) neonates who occasionally require short-term mechanical ventilation or nasal CPAP. The primary diagnoses include prematurity, respiratory distress syndrome, hyperbilirubinemia, hypoglycemia, maternal substance abuse, and neo-natal sepsis. Length of stay is from several hours to 10 days.


The Pediatrics Unit is a 14 bed inpatient unit.

The unit provides care to the patient ranging from birth to 17 years and (occasionally) adult patients. Focus includes care of the medical patient and surgical patient including ENT, orthopedic, and general surgery.


1 North

Med/Surg mixed acuity, Ortho, Oncology (Chemo)

1 North is a 39 bed inpatient unit. The 39 beds are a compliment of 21 private rooms and 9 semi- private rooms. 1 North primarily provides care to adult medical patients with a focus on cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions.

The 1 North nursing team provides care to adult and geriatric patients admitted for care of medically stable cardiac and pulmonary disease, such as CHF (congestive heart failure) and COPD, as well as those requiring care for neurological, oncological, and renal disease/disorder.

2 North

Med/Surg/Tele, heart failure and cardiac – Designated Heart Failure Floor

2 North is a 39 bed Medical/Surgical/Telemetry unit. Care is provided for the adult and geriatric populations requiring closer observation and interventions than provided on the general medical-surgical units. Patients requiring 23 hour observation with telemetry monitoring are also accommodated. Pediatric patients 15 years of age and older that require telemetry monitoring are cared for in collaboration with the pediatrician and pediatric nursing staff.

Operating Room

Operating Room

The perioperative staff provides care to the patient from pediatrics through geriatrics. To minimize separation, parents are incorporated in the care of the young patients.

Types of surgery to be performed include: orthopedics, general surgery, gynecology, urology, ENT (ear, nose, and throat), plastic, ophthalmology, podiatry, vascular, cardio thoracic, neurosurgery, and dental.

General Surgery including advanced minimal procedures; Gastro-intestinal surgery; outpatient type surgeries such as Dental, ENT, and Ophthalmology; Urological surgery; Spine and Neurosurgery; Open hear, thoracic surgery; Reconstructive and Cosmetic surgery; Female Reproductive surgery included Obstetrics and Gynecology; Vascular surgery, Orthopedic and Podiatry surgery.

Perioperative Course

AORN Periop 101

Nine month orientation composed of classroom education and hands on education with a preceptor.

This course is for all novice perioperative nurses including new graduates, nurses transitioning into the perioperative site from other nursing specialties, and other surgical team members.

Surgical Services



The Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) consists of 19 patient care bays. The unit provides nursing care and management of patients that have received general, local, regional anesthesia or conscious sedation under the direction of the Anesthesia Department.


The Outpatient Interventional Stay Unit (OISU) is a new 15 bed unit that is part of our Surgical Services team. The OISU provides care to patients from the Same Day Procedure, Endoscopy, Infusion, Interventional Radiology, and Pain Management Units.

About Reading and Berks County, PA

Berks County

The greater Reading area is a diverse community offering fun for all. Located in Berks County, it includes both rural areas as well as the excitement and energy of a city and downtown area. There is an abundance of outdoor activity with hiking, boating, and skiing in the beauty of Berks and its surrounding counties. Locally, there are social opportunities of live concerts, plays, comedians and sporting events at the Santander Center and First Energy Stadium. A short drive away to major metropolitan areas and popular attractions; it’s conveniently located 50 miles from Hershey, 60 miles from Philadelphia, 110 miles from Baltimore, 120 miles from New York City, and 125 miles from Atlantic City. Check out all that the area has to offer by www.visitpaamericana.com.