Arizona training program shapes confident, collaborative nurses, director says

The second cohort of nurses training in Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association's transition to practice program has commenced, the organization announced June 25.

The transition to practice for new clinicians was ranked as the top safety challenge hospitals and health systems will face in 2024, according to ECRI's 2024 annual report on patient safety, which was published in March. The need was largely prompted by COVID-19, which forced support and training for new nurses to become virtual. 

The Arizona Transition to Practice Program launched its first cohort in March 2024 with 30 new graduate nurses, 39 preceptors and 11 mentors. The program is running multiple cohorts per year based on graduation dates.

The new cohort currently consists of 40 new graduate nurses, 38 preceptors, and nine mentors, according to the state's hospital association. 

"We’re excited to launch our second cohort, which expands our pool of new graduate nurses with a focus on critical access and rural areas of Arizona where they need this support the most," Karen Ofafa, BSN, RN, director of the Transition to Practice Program at AHHA said in the release.

For its second cohort, the program partners with 10 participating hospital and health system facilities and aims to add more in the coming year. 

From the initial cohort, Kristin Grimes, MSN, RN, an assistant nurse manager at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center, noted that graduates of the program's initial cohort have already shown "increased knowledge, confidence and collaboration in the workplace." 

The curriculum and training were developed by the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association in partnership with OpusVi. Applications to join the Transition to Practice Program's second cohort closes June 30. Eligible applicants will be selected to participate in the program, which will resume in September.


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