RN Transition Program for Professional Development

by The Bridge Newsletter Team | School of Nursing and Health Professions

The RN Transition Program for Professional Development's new name is to be more inclusive of new and practicing RNs. This is a four-month program developed to support new graduate RNs as they begin their professional role as a nurse. It was initially one of four programs in the Bay Area funded originally through the Moore Foundation.

The program was developed to address a recommendation from the Institute of Medicine’s report, The Future of Nursing Education, to institute nurse residency programs to address the practice gap and promote practice in a variety of practice areas. With the inception of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare reimbursement reform, and increased scrutiny and accountability of patient outcomes, the role of the nurse is changing. Care delivery in outpatient care will be one of the fastest growing job markets for nurses in the next 15 years. New non-traditional roles are developing in these practice areas for nurses. The RN Transition to Practice Program provides an opportunity for new RNs to develop their role as a nurse in these new practice areas, and for non-traditional entry to practice roles.

The program has been in existence for five years. The seventh cohort of 13 transition RNs just completed the program. The eighth cohort started August 31, with 16 transition RNs being selected through an interview process by our clinical partners to provide a supportive RN experience with support and mentoring from a preceptor. The program has had over 75 clinical partners in home health, hospice, community, primary and specialty clinics, hospital readmission prevention programs, outpatient behavioral health, school-based health and school-based clinics. We will soon have a new partner in palliative care coordination- a bridge between the hospital and outpatient care.

Out of 115 Transition RNs, 109 have obtained employment as a nurse. 45 transition RNs were employed by their clinical site. The breakdown of where Transition RNs gained employment includes: Adult Outpatient 41%, Adult Inpatient 23%, School and School Clinics 18%, Pediatric Outpatient 7%, Pediatric Inpatient 4%, Long Term Care 7%. Currently, there is no tuition charged for the program, as it is covered by grant funding. Future plans include making it a certified program, allowing participants to earn units towards a master’s degree and opening the program to nurses new to these practice areas, in addition to new RN graduates.