New Graduate Nursing Program

Join a distinguished transition to practice program.

The New Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Program at UC San Diego Health is accredited with distinction as a practice transition program by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation in Practice Transition Programs.

Program Goals

  • Support new graduate nurses' lifelong learning and professional development as measured by 90 percent or greater of new graduate nurses' participation in at least one professional development activity as identified in the annual Nursing Engagement Survey within their first year of hire.
  • Ensure new graduate satisfaction throughout the new graduate transition to the practice program as measured by rating the program as good or very good on the summative survey sent at six months by 90 percent or above of the participants.
  • Validate critical thinking and clinical decision-making skills among new graduate nurses as evidenced by a minimum total score of 27 (from a maximum possible 45) on the Case Study Evaluation Tool at approximately three months of orientation.
  • Maintain new graduate nurse turnover rate below the benchmark at one, two and three years post-hire.

Program Details

The program is multifaceted and designed to support our new grads with a comprehensive transition-to-practice experience through enhanced clinical learning, encouragement of peer-to-peer support, as well as an introduction to the professional development resources that UC San Diego Health offers.

The program includes:

  • New Employee Orientation (NEO)

    The New Graduate Nurse attends four eight-hour days of organizational orientation. NEO included "Leading the Way," UC Services, Epic training, Point of Care training and online learning activities.

  • Nurse Residency Program (NRP)

    The UC San Diego Nurse Residency Program is designed to support the transition from student to professional nurse through education, mentorship and peer support. The Program prepares new graduate nurses to have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to continuously improve quality and safety. 

    The Nurse Residency Program's curriculum is based on the latest evidence and supports our Magnet Recognition. Participants benefit from classroom instruction, patient simulation activities, hands-on skill training and much more. Seven four-hour classes are held over a six-month period and are facilitated by our incredible NRP dream team.

  • Preceptorship/Unit-based Orientation

    Preceptorship is a minimum of three months or more. Preceptors are trained in competency validation. Meetings with the unit manager, CNS and/or Educator occur within the orientation period to evaluate progress, assess learning needs and address any needed remediation

  • Division-Specific Education

    New graduate nurses hired into specialty areas will attend classes to address population-specific and level-of-care learning needs.

  • Nurse Engagement and Retention

    New graduate nurses are invited to attend milestone celebration events and nurse-specific appreciation events. They also have access to our nurse engagement and retention specialist.


Additional Benefits

Educational opportunities include reduced program fees in continuing education courses offered by UC San Diego Extended Studies. Your UC benefits will pay two-thirds of your education and graduate work undertaken at our sister campuses at UCLA, UCI and UCSF Schools of Nursing.

As part of the University of California, UC San Diego offers one of the most comprehensive benefits packages in the San Diego area. You can choose from a variety of health, dental and vision plan options for eligible employees and family members. It includes three weeks of paid vacation, an average of twelve days of sick leave, 80 hours of paid education hours and thirteen paid holidays a year for full-time employees.

How to Apply

Positions are posted 6 months in advance for hiring that occurs for the months of March, August and November.

Search for our open new grad positions on the nursing careers website.

For further information check out our FAQs for new graduate nurses.