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New program helps graduate nurses during “crucial time”

This fall, Yale New Haven Health is scheduled to launch a new Clinical Nurse Transition Program to help graduate nurses establish, improve and maintain their nursing practice.

“Transitioning from nursing school to clinical practice is challenging, and Yale New Haven Health wants to invest in this journey,” said Elizabeth Beckman, DNSc, YNHHS chief nursing executive. “Additionally, we believe the program will support high-quality patient care and reduce the onboarding workload of other bedside leaders.”

The program will be piloted on selected units at Bridgeport and Yale New Haven hospitals, which have hired hundreds of graduate nurses this year. Between 40 and 50 experienced nurses at both hospitals will serve as personal coaches (PCs). Each coach will work one-on-one with approximately 10 graduate nurses 24 hours a day on weekends and during the 7 pm - 7 am shift weekdays. The transition program will start after graduate nurses complete orientation to their service lines and units. Jennifer Ghidini, RN, director of nursing, Medical Critical Care and Nursing Specialties, noted that this is a “crucial time” for graduate nurses.

“In addition to learning the clinical aspects of care, they’re learning how to prioritize, problem-solve, care for complex patients, develop caring relationships with patients and families and communicate crucial information to the interdisciplinary team, among other critical skills,” she said. “The personal coaches will expand beyond the basics of general orientation,” Beckman added. “They’ll begin to touch on the art and science of nursing practice — teaching high-tech skills with a high-touch feel as ‘at-the-elbow’ expert nurses providing at-the-moment coaching.”

Said Jeannette Bronsord, RN, director of nursing, Surgery, “We want our graduate nurses to feel like they’re part of a nursing community that is committed to their growth and success.”