November 15, 2020

Calvary Oneplus Graduate Nurse Transition Program


Recruitment and retention of nursing staff remains a significant priority for Calvary Hospitals ( throughout Australia.  Coupled with the current challenge of a nation-wide shortage of nurses, particularly those with experience. One strategy to address this is the employment of Graduate Nurses with the aim to retain and grow our own. Calvary sites have been doing this for many years, but in a non-standardised manner using variable methods and resources to support the novice nurses, and not always with the expected outcome of retaining the clinician’s at program end.

National Calvary Oneplus Graduate Nurse Transition Program 

The purpose of the National Calvary Oneplus Graduate Nurse Transition Program (Calvary GNTP) is to provide a standardised Calvary transition program for newly graduated nurses by providing a consistent minimum standard of support

This transition program is based on the extensive research conducted on the three Stages of Transition which is experienced by graduate nurses – Being, Doing and Knowing. 

The 12-month program is based on an education model with a foundational understanding of the transitional stages of the newly registered nurse to professional practice.  

And to ensure the program is resourced for success a dedicated Calvary Oneplus Graduate Nurse Transition Coordinator (GNTP Coordinator) is employed at a Level 3 RN classification with a maximum ratio of 1:12 – 1 Facilitator for every 12 Graduate nurses employed in the program. Coupled with Preceptor support with mirrored shifts for a determined time period. 

The role of the GNTP Coordinator is pivotal to the success of the Calvary GNTP.  The GNTP Coordinator works with the Learning & Development Team so that they all might strategically lead the development, co-ordination and implementation of the Calvary GNTP; provide nursing leadership, by establishing strong partnership with all professional groups in consultation with all key stakeholders.

The GNTP Coordinator role will also be responsible for the graduate’s initial transition into the working environment, ensuring that all core clinical competencies are completed prior to the required skill set being used in the work place, and to act as a conduit between the Graduate and the organisation- advocating on behalf of the Graduate as required.  

To ensure consolidation of the role Graduates must work a predetermined minimum number of hours during the 12-month program, with a maximum of two 6 month clinical rotations. All graduates are paid to attend an extensive orientation program, and are then allocated a prescribed number of supernumerary shifts for each clinical rotation. The patient allocation/acuity load is revised, there is no relieving to other ward areas and no night duty for a finite time period to allow the graduate nurse to adjust their new clinical role. Calvary supports lifelong learning and provides Professional Development Study Sessions, with topics matched to the graduate’s current transition stage throughout the program.

It is hypothesised that graduates enrolled in the National Graduate Nurse Transition Program will emerge as responsible and accountable clinicians who due to the supportive program that is based on seminal transition research, will be able practice in a confident and capable manner by program end. It is anticipated that with the additional structure and support Calvary will benefit from a more confident and skilled workforce.

Loren Madsen BSc, RN, DipBM, DipHR, DipBus, CertTAE 

National Learning & Development Clinical Advisor 

Calvary Hospitals Australia

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