Original Article 

Collaborative Academic–Practice Transition Program for New Graduate RNs in Community Settings: Lessons Learned

Jessie Jones-Bell, MS, RN, PHN; Judith Karshmer, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, RN; Audrey Berman, PhD, RN; Susan Prion, EdD, RN, CNE; Paulina Van, PhD, RN; Jonalyn Wallace, MSN, CNS, RN-BC; Nikki West, MPH


In 2010–2011, leaders from California academic and practice settings and additional community partners collaboratively developed four 12- to 16-week transition programs for 345 new registered nurse (RN) graduates who had not yet found employment as nurses. Program goals were to increase participants’ confidence, competence, and employability and expand the employment landscape to nontraditional new graduate settings. One program focused exclusively on community-based settings and was completed by 40 participants at clinics and school sites; all participants secured RN jobs. Key lessons learned go beyond the impact for participants and relate to changing the nursing culture about career path models for new graduates, troubleshooting regulatory issues, the potential for new graduates to help transform nursing, and advancing academic–practice partnerships and supporting practice sites. The community-based transition program continues to provide opportunities for new RN graduates and model an approach for transforming nursing practice.

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2014;45(6):259–264.

Ms. Jones-Bell is Adjunct Faculty and Coordinator, RN Transition Program, Dr. Karshmer is Dean and Professor, and Dr. Prion is Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Health Professions, University of San Francisco, San Francisco; Dr. Berman is Dean of Nursing, Samuel Merritt University, Oakland; Ms. Wallace is Professional Development Consultant, Community Benefits, National Patient Care Services, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland; Ms. West is Program Director, California Institute for Nursing & Health Care, Oakland; and Dr. Van is Chair, Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, California State University-East Bay, Hayward, California.

The authors received support from the California Institute for Nursing and Health Care, Kaiser Permanente Fund for Health Education at the East Bay Community Foundation, Kaiser Permanente National Patient Care Services, Kaiser Permanente Northern California Regional Patient Care Services, and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to support the transition program described herein or the writing and reviewing of this article.

The authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

The authors thank their ambulatory care clinical partners for their hard work and contributions to the transition program.

Address correspondence to Jessie Jones-Bell, MS, RN, PHN, Adjunct Faculty and Coordinator, RN Transition Program, University of San Francisco School of Nursing, Cowell Hall, 2130 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080; e-mail: ljjonesbell@usfca.edu.

Received: October 23, 2013
Accepted: January 02, 2014
Posted Online: April 02, 2014



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