Robinson Memorial Hospital is one of 113 hospitals chosen by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN®) to participate in an innovative, multi-state study to evaluate safety and quality outcomes in nurse transition to practice programs. The states of Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina were selected to participate in the study by NCSBN as they showed enormous statewide efforts to identify over 100 hospitals for Phase I of the study through an open call.
The NCSBN Transition to Practice Study (TTPS) was created, as the need for a standardized transition-to-practice model has arisen, due to the changes in healthcare in the past 20 years. While previous studies of transition programs have looked at retention rates, new nurse satisfaction, preceptor satisfaction, and nurse’s perceptions of competence and confidence; prior research has not examined actual patient outcomes.
The TTPS will compare patient outcomes in organizations that will be randomized to use either the NCSBN transition model (study group) or to use its usual practice of transitioning new nurses to practice (control group). Robinson Memorial Hospital was selected as part of the control group for Phase I of the study.
In Phase I, the TTPS will follow newly licensed registered nurses hired to work in hospital settings. During the year, the newly hired nurses will participate in interactive, online transition to practice modules, work one-on-one with a preceptor and receive institutional support from their hospital. Phase I of the TTPS runs from July 1, 2011 through December 31, 2012.
Phase II will follow the same study protocol as Phase I, but will incorporate newly hired registered nurses who work in settings other than hospitals (such as long-term care, community and correctional facilities, and schools) and the addition of newly licensed practical/vocational nurses who work in all healthcare settings. The second phase of the study begins April 2012. Once both phases of the study have concluded, the safety and quality outcomes of the control group along with those of the study group will be compared.
“I am very proud that Robinson Memorial Hospital is participating in this pilot study, which will test the success of such a standardized, regulatory transition to practice model, based on existing evidence, with the potential for improving patient quality and safety outcomes and increasing new nurse retention,” stated Linda Breedlove, Vice President of Patient Care Services and CNO. “With the increasing complexity of providing health care and the expertise gap of newly licensed nurses, the need for a standardized transition to practice program, which supports these new nurses as they enter the profession, is long overdue.”
Andrea Colecchi, RN, NE-BC, Nursing Quality Manager at Robinson Memorial Hospital has been selected to serve as the site coordinator for the hospital and is responsible for submitting data electronically to study researchers at NCSBN. The data collected will measure actual patient outcomes, such as infection rates, patient falls, patient satisfaction, as well as new nurse competencies, job satisfaction and job stress. The ultimate goal of the site coordinator is to help ensure the integrity of the study by maintaining compliance with study protocol.
Registered Nurses participating in the TTPS at Robinson Memorial Hospital include: Jennessa MacDonald, RN, Step Down Unit; Jacqui Hyland, RN, Step Down Unit; Farrah Schoepe, RN, Emergency Department; Rachel Kline, RN, Medical/Surgical; and Stefani Esposito, RN, Medical/Surgical. The Preceptors for the participants, who will monitor the registered nurses throughout the TTPS, are Diane Dickey, RN, Step Down Manager; Gina Solomon, RN, Emergency Department Interim Manager; and Debbie Boston, RN, Medical/Surgical Manager.