Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Transition-to-Practice Programs: Can They Improve Patient Safety and Quality of Care?

An article in looks at several pioneering transition-to-practice programs that are helping new RNs get the skills and experience they need to more easily make the transition from nursing student to practicing RN.

According to the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCSBN), more than 40 percent of new graduate nurses report making medication errors and 50 percent do not believe they would recognize life-threatening complications that would require intervention. Moreover, the NCSBN reported that average turnover rates for nurses in their first year are 35 to 60 percent.

To address these issues, leading educators, hospitals and health systems have developed nurse residency and other transition programs that help nurses develop and practice the critical thinking and clinical judgement skills needed, as well as the clinical experience they need to feel more confident and less stressed when they take on their first nursing job.

Results of these early efforts are promising, including lower turnover rates. NCSBN is currently conducting a study into the effect of a transition-to-practice program model on patient safety and and quality outcomes.

The IOM report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Care, calls for strengthening nursing education, and many of the Action Coalitions that are part of Campaign for Action to implement the IOM report recommendations are working to develop or expand nurse residency programs.

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