Document Type




Format of Original

7 p.

Publication Date



Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

Source Publication

Journal for Nurses in Professional Development

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.1097/NND.0000000000000260; PubMed Central: PMID: 27434319


This study reports on the 3-, 6-, 12-, and 18-month outcomes of 118 newly hired registered nurses (RNs) who completed a 12-month transition-to-practice program at a pediatric hospital. Experienced RNs (n = 42) and new graduate RNs (n = 76) showed improved organization, prioritization, communication, and leadership skills over time. The experienced RNs reported better communication and leadership skills than the new graduate nurses. Results inform transition program development for both new and experienced nurses.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2012) predicts that, without a multifaceted approach, a national nursing shortage will occur by 2020. Many nurses leave their first position and sometimes the profession within the first year of employment (Baxter, 2010; Welding, 2011). Retaining nurses is a vital component of any approach to averting a nursing shortage. In an attempt to retain nurses, healthcare institutions often provide a transition-to-practice (TTP) or nurse residency program for new graduate nurses (NGN) entering the profession. The Institute of Medicine (2011) in its Future of Nursing report also recommends a transition program for nurses moving to a new specialty or to advanced practice roles. Completing a NGN transition program is associated with a decrease in nurse attrition by as much as 80% (Halfer, Graf, & Sullivan, 2008; Rush, Adamack, Gordon, Lilly, & Janke, 2013; Spector et al., 2015). This reported decrease has led to organizational interest in transition programs to improve retention.

The goals of residency programs for the NGN have ranged from increasing new nurse confidence and competence, to increasing satisfaction and retention (Fink, Krugman, Casey, & Goode, 2008; Goode, Lynn, McElroy, Bednash, & Murray, 2013; Institute of Medicine, 2011; Spector et al., 2015). Although literature supports the effectiveness of transition programs for the NGN (Fink et al., 2008; Goode et al., 2013; Spector et al., 2015), there is little evidence on the experienced nurse’s transition to a new specialty practice. Furthermore, most transition programs do not report outcomes beyond the first 12 months of employment. Thus, the purpose of this study is to evaluate nurse stressors and supports during and after a 12-month transition-to-employment program for both new and experienced nurses transitioning to a pediatric practice.


Accepted version. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, Vol. 32, No. 4 (July/August 2016): 198-204. DOI. © 2016 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Used with permission.

Included in

Nursing Commons