Nursing at UCI

New Graduate: Transition to Practice

New Grad

The Transition to Practice program is a one-year program designed to support the new graduate nurse hired at UCI Health transition from a novice nurse to an advanced beginner. The philosophy of the Transition to Practice program is to promote clinical excellence, professional development and a healthy work environment that fosters nurses who are well-prepared, confident and empowered to positively impact and improve the quality of care provided.

This formal, structured, post-baccalaureate new graduate program is part of the Vizient/American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Nurse Residency Program. The program content is built on evidence-based curriculum and is highly interactive and supportive. Nursing leaders from UCI Health mentor and guide the new graduate nurse in mastering the challenges of changes in the healthcare delivery system, advances in treatment and technologies, and increasing patient acuity. The Transition to Practice program is offered bi-annually and consists of three components: Nurse Residency Program, Clinical Preceptorship and Specialty Didactic Course.

The Nurse Residency Program consists of a series of learning experiences designed to assist the new graduate nurse in the transition to their first professional role and help them become leaders at the bedside. The core curriculum topics include critical thinking, patient safety and minimizing risk, quality patient outcomes, leadership, communication, evidence-based practice and professional development.

During the Clinical Preceptorship, the new graduate nurse works with an experienced nurse preceptor who serves as the primary clinical mentor for the nurse resident. The preceptor guides, directs and oversees the new graduate nurse in the clinical setting.

The Specialty Didactic Course is designed to provide a comprehensive, real-world-context curriculum across body systems and disease processes. Interactive learning activities such as case studies, hands-on practice and simulation are utilized to ensure learner engagement, build clinical reasoning and improve nurse confidence.

The UCI Health Transition to Practice is accredited with distinction as a Practice Transition Program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs and is recognized by the ANCC Practice Transition Accreditation Program® (PTAP) as an Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship Program (IRAP).

Experienced Nurse: Transition to Practice (Fellowship Program)

Experienced Nurse Transition to Practice Diagram

The UCI Health Nurse Fellowship Program is designed to facilitate professional growth and new career opportunities for UCI Health-registered nurses who desire to transition from their current practice area to another practice area. Our overall goal is to provide a structure that will support our internal UCI Health nurses and provide them with additional career mobility.

Experienced nurses moving into a different clinical area have unique needs, not unlike new graduate nurses. They must attain new knowledge and skills and develop clinical judgment in the new context. Experienced nurses often report feelings of stress and anxiety during transition and experience self-imposed pressure to present as an expert. Using Patricia Benner’s Novice to Expert Model, clinical nurse educators work with both unit managers and supervisors to formulate individualized length of orientation goals and clinical nurse educators provide support, consultation and mentoring to the transitioning nurse, preceptor and manager/supervisor as needed.

The program consists of three components: Transition Support Course, Clinical Preceptorship and Specialty Didactic course.

The Transition Support, which is facilitated by the clinical nurse educators (CNE) and clinical nurse specialists (CNS), is designed to support and develop nurses during the critical transition period.

Within the Clinical Preceptorship, the transitioning nurse works with a preceptor who serves as the primary clinical mentor for the nurse resident. The preceptor functions as a teacher, advocate and role model in guiding, directing and overseeing the clinical practice of the transitioning nurse. As a team, the transitioning nurse and preceptor set goals and expectations and build a relationship based on mutual respect.

The Specialty Didactic Course provides the transitioning nurse with the skills and knowledge to achieve optimal outcomes for patients within their chosen specialty. Many specialty units use a blended approach, which provides didactic instruction and online modules. The CNEs formulate individualized curriculum development guidance to determine which didactic classes the experienced nurse should attend as well as unit-specific educational offerings.

Nursing Job Opportunities

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New Graduate Application

There is no application process for the Transition to Practice program. Only new graduate nurses hired at UCI Health are eligible. Please refer to the UCI Health Career Opportunities site for Clinical Nurse I job opportunities. Once hired, admission to the Transition to Practice Program is automatic.