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New Graduate Advanced Practice Providers (APPs, including CNS, CRNAs, NPs, PAs and other APRNs) require a transitional orientation into practice upon graduation. Careful planning by the employer before a new graduate APP begins can help ensure a successful transition. Those who do not have a formal orientation often report feeling unsafe or not properly trained for their role. As a result, many opt to return to their RN role while searching for a new APP role that will appropriately support them in the transition to practice process. Across the board, APPs report that a transition to practice orientation is the most important aspect of a new graduate role. Through our experience working with APP new graduates, we have established few key components of a transition to practice model for new graduates.
Successful APP transition to practice requires a prepared hiring manager who sets a clear timeline for the orientation process. APP orientation length may vary by practice settings, with a general rule of thumb as 4 months for primary care, 5 months for acute and specialty care, and 6 months for ICU and surgery, with an often additional 3 months for night shifts. We also recommends a year long orientation or residency process for new graduates with more minimal healthcare provider background. Flexibility is also key! Be willing to let the new grad CRNAs, PAs, NPs, and CNS have additional time based on their progress, as long as they are making a reasonable amount of progress. Occasionally, the new hire is not a fit for the role and cannot achieve the orientation goals, but typically with the right support, they will be independent in no time! Be prepared to provide a gradual patient load for new grad CRNAs, PAs, NPs, and CNS of approximately 10% of a full patient load to begin with and then adding patients at a regular cadence until full productivity is met.
New graduate CRNAs, PAs, NPs, and CNS are well trained in their programs. They also need support for the first year to become proficient in their role and in the specialty. The cost of not providing a transition to practice program is approximately 2.5 times their annual compensation (salary, plus benefits). It pays to build a training program and invest in new graduate hires. If hiring managers are not in a position to train new graduates then they should focus on hiring experienced candidates.
This article was originally published on Melnic. Melnic was recently acquired by DirectShifts.