Faced with a surplus of new nurse graduates unable to find employment in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 2000s, Moore Foundation grantee, HealthImpact, worked with local schools of nursing and a range of health care organizations to develop a model designed to help new nursing graduates build competence, confidence and employability. RN Transition Programs sought to help new graduates bridge the gap between their academic education and practice in the field – the goals were to enhance their skills while allowing them to continue seeking regular employment.   

Managed and administered by schools of nursing, transition programs provide 12-16 weeks of in-classroom instruction and clinical training, including simulations and preceptor-led clinical experience. The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies provided the framework for the programs. Partnering health care facilities included not only hospitals but a range of ambulatory care settings, such as clinics, hospices, schools, and long-term care. The expansion of clinical training sites beyond hospitals give new RNs a unique opportunity to gain exposure to and experience in non-traditional workplaces for novice nurses.

Launched in 2009, transition programs were pilot tested in 2010. A total of 345 nursing graduates participated in four pilot transition programs across the Bay Area. As a result, 84 percent of participating graduates were employed three months after completing the program, compared to a California statewide average of 57 percent.

The success of these transition programs and their spread to 16 other sites in California led the Moore Foundation to support the development and publication of seven articles. Each article, published in peer-reviewed journals between 2014 -2015, discusses an important aspect of planning, implementing and measuring transition programs, as demonstrated in the pilot program.

Read more about the pilot program article series here, including brief summaries of each article.


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