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New Graduate Registered Nurse Transition to Practice Program

As of April 2023, and designated in A.R.S. § 36-1804, AHCCCS contracted with the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) as a consultant to assist with the administration and implementation of a licensed registered nurse transition to practice pilot program to support and develop new nurses, provide evidence-based professional development, and accelerate the novice nurse to a competent nurse more rapidly.

Why is this important?

Arizona is experiencing a severe nursing shortage that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is important to increase the numbers of new nurses in the pipeline, it is also important to retain new nurses in their roles. New graduate nurse turnover was high before the pandemic and only increased throughout the pandemic. A formal New Graduate Registered Nurse Transition to Practice Program (TTPP) provides another level of support for new nurses and has been shown to increase retention.

There are currently 550 nurse residency programs in the United States, including single-site programs – a few of which occur within singular health systems in Arizona. But there is nothing that promotes the overall retention of RNs statewide in Arizona.

In states such as Pennsylvania and Maryland, the support has consistently, and significantly improved retention rates compared to the national average. This program is intended to not only improve one-year retention, but also to effect changes in competence and confidence levels among recent nurse graduates by promoting independent practice and clarity in their role.

The Arizona New Graduate RN TTP program will focus on rural and underserved communities, particularly critical access, sole community, and safety net hospitals to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable populations receive access to high quality healthcare.

Getting started

  • Any Arizona healthcare facility that hires new graduate registered nurses can apply.
  • Participation in the program is voluntary, and there is no cost to join.
  • The monies provided under the program are intended to supplement and not supplant existing transition to practice training program expenses covered by the participating health care institutions.
  • Priority shall be given to critical access hospitals or hospitals located in counties with a population of less than five hundred thousand persons.
  • A limited number of new graduate nurses will be accepted per year into the New Graduate Nurse Transition to Practice Program. Apply now to secure spots for your new nurses!

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