RN Transition Program

As care expands under health care reform, meeting the health needs of Californians becomes increasingly complex. Meanwhile, newly graduated nurses report difficulty finding jobs and say they are often not adequately trained for the new roles they must take on. Beginning in late 2009, these programs were established to assist newly graduated and licensed RNs by increasing their competence and confidence, thus increasing their employability. Unlike traditional new graduate bridging programs, they are offered through a school of nursing, which partners with one or multiple practice sites to provide clinical experiences. The program participants are enrolled through the nursing school, in a special student status, with the school covering worker’s compensation and liability insurance. The participants are not yet employed as RNs, though the intent is that through the program experience, they will be considered for hire. Programs have a core structure, modeled around the QSEN competencies, but can be tailored for preparation of RNs in a number of settings, including both in- and outside of hospitals.

“Before the RN Transition Program, I never received a course in coordinating care from an inpatient setting to a return to the community,” says Rick Becker, RN, a care coordinator at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. Rick credits the program with giving him the skills to land what he describes as his dream job.

How It Works
HealthImpact provides the resources necessary to implement the program, including:
• RN Transition Program model and tools, including curriculum structure
• Program implementation, management, coordination and consulting
• Robust evaluation tools to assess participant competence and confidence
• An online evaluation tool to simplify data collection and reporting
• Access to a statewide database gathering evidence of the importance of transition programs as a means to better prepare RNs for professional practice
• Examples of best practices from similar transition programs
• Certificate of completion for program participants that is recognized by California clinical partners and provides credibility to programs

For more information, contact Carolyn Orlowski at: carolyn@healthimpact.org.