(CMR) The Health Services Authority’s (HSA) prestigious year-long Transition to Practice (TTP) nursing program has been creating an impact with 18 Caymanian nursing graduates from 3 cohorts moving on to pursue full-time roles as Registered Nurses (RNs).
Since its inception in 2018, the Transition to Practice (TTP) program has provided local nursing graduates with the skill-building experience that facilitated their transition to full Registered Nurse practice. Each participant gains experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced RN Preceptors. Participants also rotate to various specialty areas in the hospital to learn the healthcare system in more depth and to explore career interests.
“Nursing is a high-pressure career and the transition from student nurse to qualified practitioner is a challenging one that causes much apprehension for new nurses. Transition to Practice programs offer participants the opportunity to find solutions to real-life challenges through structured peer support and we are proud to be able to offer our local nurses this incredible action-based learning opportunity,” said Monty Gross, senior nurse leader for professional development at the HSA and overseer of the program.
The Joint Commission International and the Institute of Medicine, among other healthcare quality agencies, recommend hospitals use these residency programs to improve safety, patient outcomes, and nurse retention.
In response to COVID-19, the program limited the rotations of members of the last cohorts to their home units and Public Health, where they experienced swabbing patients and administering vaccines.
“Despite the limitations, we are pleased to report that the program remained successful with no negative impact on outcomes,” declared Dr. Gross. “I congratulate our graduates who have all worked diligently towards gaining the experience and confidence they need to deliver patient-centered care to the people of these islands.”
Kianna Rankin of cohort 3 describes her time in the TTP program as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Before this program, we had never done COVID swabs or learned the procedures of managing a COVID infected patient. The program offered us the opportunity to be on the front lines assisting our country during the pandemic. We also completed several educational courses within the program gaining CME credits towards the renewal of our nursing license. It exposed us to how all the different units in a hospital are operated, broadening our perspectives beyond what we learned in the classrooms.”
Shemika Gooding of cohort 2 described her overall experience as an unforgettable one that taught her a lot about life, her future, people, and her patients.
Khichala Robinson, an RN Preceptor in the program, stated that it was a rewarding experience teaching the young RNs, both clinical practice and theory, and training them to give competent, holistic care.
“In addition to allowing them to gain experience, this program provides the new Registered Nurses with insight to decide on which area of nursing appeals to them most for practice or future specialization,” said Robinson. She further noted that, although experienced, nurses had to do the formal preceptor course to participate as an RN Preceptor. “It feels so good to be training our own nurses to provide the best quality care in our healthcare system throughout the Cayman Islands,” she added.
To apply for the TTP program, interested persons may contact HSA’s Human Resources Department at [email protected].