RN Transition-to-Practice Toolkit

Transition-to-Practice (Residency) programs are designed to support new graduates during their progression into practice.


In the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, Recommendation #3 concluded that:

State boards of nursing, accrediting bodies, the federal government, and health care organizations should take actions to support nurses’ completion of a transition-to-practice program (nurse residency) after they have completed a prelicensure or advanced practice degree program or when they are transitioning into new clinical practice areas. (IOM, 2010)

In response to this recommendation, the Indiana Center for Nursing (ICN) created measurable goals and objectives pertaining to this strategy. Transition-to-Practice goals and strategies are an integral component of the vision of the Center as outlined in the ICN Strategic Plan and the overarching goals for the nursing practice committee of the Indiana Action Coalition.

The team charged with the development of content and process for a state-wide Nurse Residency Program began their work by reviewing existing programs. The initial research pointed in the direction of three different programs in the literature: University Health System Consortium/ American Association of Colleges of Nursing (UHC/AACN) Nurse Residency ProgramNational Council of State Boards of Nursing’s (NCSBN) Transition to Practice Model and the Versant RN Residency program. The team evaluated the merits of each program as well as reviewed Nurse Residency Program Builder, a resource manual for the development of a successful new graduate nurse residency. As they reviewed the programs and resources they identified the need for any program to align with the concepts and key principles of Magnet Recognition Program Application Standards and the ANA Scope and Standards of Practice of Nursing as well as meet the requirements for the Standards for Accreditation of Post-Baccalaureate Nursing Residency Programs developed by the Commission Collegiate Nursing Education in 2008. Out of this work, the Transition-to-Practice Toolkit was developed.

This toolkit uses the following definitions throughout:

Residency – an evidenced-based program designed for the new graduate nurse to successfully bridge the gap between academic preparation in clinical practice to become a confident and competent professional.

Preceptor – a nurse who has had preceptor training and is assigned to work with the newly graduate nurse of practice to provide expert feedback, to foster reflective practice, to role model safe and quality patient care, and to socialize the novice nurse into the role of a nurse.

Mentor – a nurse who offers professional support for the new nurse while also providing counseling, coaching, support, problem solving, listening and leadership in a non-judgmental and non-threatening environment. The mentor is usually not the preceptor.

Protégé/Mentee – a new graduate nurse

Orientation – the process of introducing staff to the philosophy, goals, policies, procedures, role expectations, and other factors needed to function in a specific work setting. Orientation occurs for all new employees.


Task Force Lead

Cindy Adams, PhD, ANP-BC, RN

Academic Partners

Susan Ahrens, PhD, RN
Angela Bailey, MSN, RNC-OB
Linda Rae Delunas, PhD, RN, CNE
Paula Hartman, MSN, RN, ANP, CNE
Patricia Keresztes, PhD, RN, CCRN
Marsha King, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
Nila Reimer, PhD, RN

Practice Partners

Angela Bratina, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, NE-BC
Linda Cason, DNP, CNS, RN-BC, NE-BC, CNRN
Cherona Hajewski, MSN, RN, NEA-BC
Lori Hodges, RN, MSN
Abby Kamp, MSN, RN, RN-BC
Jan Kirsch, EdD, MSN, BSN, RN
Lynn M Turner, RN, MSN
Dawn Scott, MBA, BSN, RNC-OB, NE-BC
Caroline Sims, PhD, RN
Romma Woodward, MSEd, MSN, RN-BC

Authors and Contributors

Angela Bailey, MSN, RNC-OB
Linda Cason, DNP, MSN, CNS, RN-BC, NE-BC, CNRN
Denise Ferrell, DNP, RN
Norma Hall, DNP, RN
Jennifer Harley, RN, MSN
Julie Harrison, RN, BSN
Barbara Hidde, MSN, RN
Erin Johnson, RN, BSN
Tammie R. Jones, RN, MS
Cheryl Joy, RN, BSN
Abby Kamp, MSN, RN, RN-BC
Patricia A. Keresztes, PhD, RN, CCRN
Marsha M. King, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC
Kathleen Kleefisch, DNP, FNP-BC
Ronda McKay, DNP, CNS, RN, NEA-BC
Jennifer Olson, MS
Matthew Pierce, RN, MSN, LSSBB
Leah Scalf, RN, MSN, NE-BC
Dawn Scott, MBA, BSN, RNC-OB, NE-BC
Caroline Sims, PhD, RN
Joseph Swartz, MS, LSSBB
Susan Taylor, MA, RN
Beth Vottero, PhD, RN, CNE

Indiana expert nurses, from practice and education, collaborated to create the ICN Transition-to-Practice Toolkit.

Member Organizations