Transition-to-practice programs "provide transitional support from classroom to clinical practice and are a necessary educational component in preparing nurses for practice," said Deloras Jones, California Institute for Nursing & Health Care, in a statement. In other words, they help nurses apply what they learned at school to real-world patient care.
Transition-to-practice programs are touted in the Institute of Medicine's report, The Future of Nursing, which says "high turnover rates among new nurses underscore the importance of transition-to-practice residency programs, which help manage the transition from nursing school to practice and help new graduates further develop the skills needed to deliver safe, quality care." The report also says that such programs "need to be developed and evaluated in community settings."
That's exactly what the CINHC has done. In 2011, it surveyed 1,492 RNs who had been licensed between April 2010 and August 2011 and found that 43% of them had not found jobs. In an effort to bridge this gap, CINHC worked with nursing schools, hospitals, and community-based agencies to develop the 12- to 18-week pilot RN Transition Programs.
The programs were established at schools of nursing at Samuel Merritt University; California State University, East Bay; University of San Francisco; and a collaboration of South Bay schools, including San Jose State University, Samuel Merritt University's San Mateo Learning Center and San Jose/Evergreen Community College District through the Workforce Institute. They were open to new RNs who weren't yet employed.
Alexandra Wilson Pecci is an editor for HealthLeaders.