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News Award winning program -Transition to Practice

Award winning program -Transition to Practice


​New RN Orientation Preceptor Process

CENTRALIA, IL - ​When a newly graduated nurse begins work, it can be a scary adventure.  Moving from the classroom and education setting to real life experiences with sick patients is a significant step in a nurse's life.  

An evidence based program began Spring 2016 at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Centralia and it has been received very positively by new graduates and it has won an award; the program is called the Transition to Practice: New RN Orientation Preceptor Process.  

The SSM Health 2016 Nursing Symposium, the first SSM Health event of this scale and type brought together nurses from all four states and joined with an academic partner for a half-day conference to elevate the patient experience and nursing practice at SSM Health.  As part of the symposium, nurses from across SSM Health and Saint Louis University School of Nursing also were invited to submit poster presentations that highlighted best practices in the categories of Evidence-Based Practice, Research and Quality Improvement. Of the 52 poster presentations submitted, four were chosen for podium presentations.  The Transition to Practice: New RN Orientation Preceptor Process was prepared as a poster presentation and was awarded 1st place in the Evidence-Based Practice Category.  Great job team!

"Thanks to instructors Ashley Sorenson, RN, BSN, and Cindy Meagher, RN, BSN.  They have done outstanding work to develop this program.  I am so proud of our instructors, Ashley and Cindy.  These two highly skilled nurses along with our exceptional clinical coaches are ensuring that the future of nursing at St. Mary's Hospital remains in competent and caring hands," said Tracy Fiscus, RN, MSN, CCRN, Director of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital ICU, Telemetry, Cardiology and Cath Lab.  

The below image looks similar to the award winning poster.  

Previously, a new RN would follow and observe their Clinical Coach.  Keep in mind, the Coach would have a full load of patients.  Then they would flip roles and the new RN would do the work with patients while the Clinical Coach observed and advised.   

With this new process, every new RN graduate working an inpatient or emergency department,  reviews a book of education and policies specific to our institution.  To assure observance of a multitude of processes and procedures, each day the Transition Coach contacts other hospital departments to ask if there is anything new or unusual happening.  When there is a procedure, the new graduate is taken to the specific department to observe.  This allows the student to see significantly more procedures than they ever had seen prior and to visit more departments than they would have with the previous approach.  

Fiscus comments, our program has been a significant success and it is so rewarding for the team to share this success with other SSM Health hospitals so others can steal shamelessly and make the new graduate RN transition to practice as successful as possible.