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Transition to Practice

Program Overview

Transition to Practice is a Bozeman Health Health program developed to help all new graduate nurses hired into the health system bridge the gap from student to competent professional nurse over the first year of practice. The program is not unit specific, instead, tailored to the specific needs of the new graduate regardless of which department employed in.

Transition to Practice is a planned, comprehensive period of time during which newly licensed nurses can acquire the knowledge and skills to deliver safe, quality care that meets defined standards of practice as outlined by the competencies developed by the Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies*.

The Transition to Practice Program is offered in a supportive environment to help newly licensed nurses gain competence and confidence to become an integral member of the Bozeman Health team. Each month, new nurses come together to give mutual support, practice emerging nursing skills, and foster professional nursing practice. The Transition to Practice Program is a series of monthly 4-hour workshops held over nine months. Each session includes a time for community building among the residents, discussing the roles and responsibilities of the professional nurse, clinical skill development, building resilience, and self-care. Adapted Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies are integrated to measure knowledge and competency.**

Nurse Residency Topics

Professional Nurse Competencies

  • Patient-Centered Care
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership
  • Systems-Based Practice
  • Informatics and Technology
  • Communication
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Safety
  • Quality Improvement
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Mentoring

Clinical Skills

  • Time Management
  • Teamwork/Conflict Resolution
  • First 2 Minutes of a Code
  • Medication Safety
  • IVs, Chest Tubes, Wound Care
  • Pain management
  • Blood Administration
  • Other skills identified as needed by nurse residents

Expectation of the Transition to Practice Participant

  • Actively participate in at least 80% of sessions and learning activities
  • Actively participate in transition progress meetings with preceptor, department manager and/or nurse educator and nurse residency faculty

Continuing Nursing Education:

Criteria for successful completion:

  • Sign attendance roster for each session attended.
  • Complete Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Survey at beginning, mid-point and end of program.
  • Complete evaluation survey at completion of program.

Participants will receive continuing nursing education contact hours equivalent to actual hours attended during the nine month program. Maximum contact hours awarded is 36.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Eligible?

  • New graduate recently licensed Montana Registered Nurses with less than one year experience and/or no RN in-patient clinical work experience.

How do I apply?

  • The licensed RN must have applied for and been awarded a position within Bozeman Health. Once hired, the newly graduate nurse will be automatically enrolled in the Transition to Practice Program. Information regarding the start of the next cohort will be communicated to the resident and their manager.

How often is the program offered?

  • There are currently two cohorts per year, one in the early spring for December graduates, and one in the late summer for May graduates. The program has the ability to scale up the number of offerings based on volume and is subject to change.

*Used with permission of the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nurse of the Future Competency Committee, Boston, MA.

**Adapted from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nurse of the Future Competency Committee. (2010). Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies. Boston: Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Boston, MA.

The Nurse Residency Program is administered by the Bozeman Health Center for Education and Development

For more information or questions regarding the program, please contact us at 406-414-5018 or email us at