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New Graduate Nurse 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. 

The program is multi-faceted 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 UC San Diego Health offers. The program includes:

  • New Employee Orientation (NEO)

    The New Graduate Nurse attends four 8 hour days of organizational orientation. NEO included "Leading the Way", UC Services, Epic training, Point of Care training and on-line 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 the latest evidence and supports our Magnet Recognition. Participants benefit from classroom instruction, patient simulation activities, hands-on skill training and much more. Seven, 4 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 3 months or greater. Preceptors are trained in competency validation. Meetings with 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, nurse specific appreciation events and has access to our Nurse Engagement and Retention Specialist.

graph showing transition to practice program

Additional Benefits

Educational opportunities include reduced program fees in continuing education courses offered by 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 benefit 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. Includes three weeks of paid vacation, an average of twelve days of sick leave, 40 hours of paid education hours and thirteen paid holidays a year for full-time employees.

New Graduate Hiring and Applicant Window

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 at 

For further information check out our  New Grad FAQ's

Program Goals

  • Support new graduate nurses' life-long learning and professional development as measured by 90% 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 practice program as measured by rating the program as good or very good on the summative survey sent at 6 months by 90% 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 3 months of orientation.
  • Maintain new graduate nurse turnover rate below the benchmark at 1, 2, and 3-years post hire.