Transition to Practice Pilot Program

The APNA Transition to Practice Pilot Program is a 12 month program of support for nurses transitioning to primary health care. It is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Nursing in Primary Health Care Program.

The APNA Transition program will deliver and evaluate an accessible and structured 12 month transition program, with the aim of increasing the confidence, skills and knowledge of nurses, commencing work in primary health care settings1

The program will be delivered in two tranches with nurses who have recently commenced work in primary health care. The timeframes for each tranche are as follows:

  • Tranche 1: April 2016 – March 2017 - closure of program has commenced
  • Tranche 2: April 2017 – March 2018 - about to commence

1 For the purposes of the APNA Transition to Practice program, primary health care settings are considered to be workplaces outside of the acute health care setting – including aged care, correctional health, community care and general practice.

Transition to Practice Pilot Program update

It’s recognised that the longer a nurse stays with an organisation the more productive they become. A stable nursing workforce will have learnt the systems, the patients, the services, and how to work together within a team, as well as obtaining further education and confidence around the areas of health which commonly present within their individual settings.
A transition to practice program benefits patients, the healthcare system and individual nurses. Early results of the Transition to Practice Pilot Program (TPPP) Tranche 1 have indicated it has had a positive influence on nurses’ intentions to remain in the nursing workforce. 

Since April 2016, Tranche 1 of the pilot program has been supporting nurses who are transitioning into a variety of primary health care settings (correctional health, aged care, community, aboriginal health services and general practice) These nurses, who are either recently graduated or established nurses transitioning from acute care settings, have been offered a range of support over a the past 12 months

What have we learned?

Nurses within the Transition to Practice Pilot Program have described a number of experiences that contribute to what is often termed “Transition Shock “including orientation issues; unclear role expectations; feeling isolated alone or lacking support; being overwhelmed in a new role; a lack of confidence (arising from a knowledge deficit and a lack of well-developed communication and critical thinking skills); and, feeling overwhelmed in the new role.i,ii 

Nurses report contribution of the TPPP program to:

  • Increasing their knowledge, skills and confidence, 
  • Increasing role clarity and a strong sense of a supportive environment
  • Reducing isolation

Many nurses suggest that the TPPP program has contributed to their intentions to remain in primary health care through:

  • Increased role clarity and job satisfaction
  • Fuelling a passion for primary health care
  • Normalising uncertainty about career decisions

What's next?

Tranche 2 of the APNA Transition to Practice Pilot Program is formally commencing this month (April 2017)– all successful participants have now been notified. The new tranche will incorporate some changes influenced by feedback from the participants of the first tranche as well as key stakeholders. This includes moving to one model of support for all transitioning nurses. In essence,  regardless of whether nurses are working in isolation or are currently supported by other nurses within their workplaces they will be also be supported by an external clinical and professional mentor. 

i Ashley, C., Brown, A. & Brown, E., 2016. Ensuring an efficient primary health care nursing workforce: exploring the transition experiences of nurses moving to primary health care employment. In 2016 Primary Health Care Research Conference. Canberra, pp. 1–4. ii Duchscher, J.E.B., 2009. Transition shock: The initial stage of role adaptation for newly graduated Registered Nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(5), pp.1103–1113.

Tranche 2 Participants Announced

As Tranche One draws to a close, the participants for Tranche two have now been selected and announced.

APNA would like to thank all who applied. With over 200 applications received and over 100 individual applications assessed, APNA is thrilled to announce that 27 Transitioning Nurses and 20 Clinical and Professional Mentors have been selected to participate in Tranche 2 of APNA’s Transition program for the next 12 months.

All successful applicants can be found here 

If you are an organisation and would like to do a media release on any of the successful participants please contact APNA on or 1300 303 184

What will the program involve?

  • Up to 25 Transitioning Nurses will be selected to participate in the program
  • Support from an external experienced registered nurse, who will be the transitioning nurse’s clinical and professional mentor
  • APNA support which includes APNA providing funding, in the form of incremental payments directly to the Transitioning Nurse's:
    - Workplace ($2,000 ex GST) and
    - Clinical and Professional Mentor ($3,300 ex GST).
  • A self-assessment framework to help the Transitioning Nurse identify, prioritise and plan their needs throughout the program
  • Education to complete (no essays to submit)
  • Involvement in program evaluation 

Contact or 1300 303 184

The APNA Transition to Practice Pilot Program is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health under the Nursing in Primary Health Care Program.