Nursing graduates gain hands-on experience with HSA’s residency programme

Eighteen Caymanian nursing graduates from 3 cohorts have moved on to pursue full-time roles as Registered Nurses (RNs) after completing the Health Services Authority’s (HSA) prestigious year-long Transition to Practice (TTP) nursing programme.

Since its inception in 2018, the Transition to Practice (TTP) Programme provided local nursing graduates with the skill-building experience that facilitated their transition to full Registered Nurse practice. Each participant gains experience working with patients under the supervision of experienced RN Preceptors. Participants also rotate to various speciality areas in the hospital to learn the healthcare system in more depth and to explore career interests.

“Nursing is a high-pressure career and the transition from student nurse to qualified practitioner is a challenging one that causes much apprehension for new nurses. Transition to Practice Programmes offer participants the opportunity to find solutions to real-life challenges through structured peer support and we are proud to be able to offer our local nurses this incredible action-based learning opportunity,” said Monty Gross, senior nurse leader for professional development at the HSA and overseer of the programme.

The Joint Commission International and the Institute of Medicine, among other healthcare quality agencies, recommend hospitals use these residency programmes to improve safety, patient outcomes and nurse retention.

In response to COVID-19, the programme limited the rotations of members of the last cohorts to their home units and Public Health where they experienced swabbing patients and administering vaccines. “Despite the limitations, we are pleased to report that the programme remained successful with no negative impact on outcomes,” declared Dr Gross. “I congratulate our graduates who have all worked diligently towards gaining the experience and confidence they need to deliver patient-centred care to the people of these islands.”

Kianna Rankin of cohort 3 describes her time in the TTP Programme as a once in a lifetime experience. “Before this programme, we had never done COVID swabs or learnt the procedures of managing a COVID infected patient. The programme offered us the opportunity to be on the front lines assisting our country during the pandemic. We also completed several educational courses within the programme gaining CME credits towards the renewal of our nursing licence. It exposed us to how all the different units in a hospital are operated, broadening our perspectives beyond what we learned in the classrooms.”

Shemika Gooding of cohort 2 described her overall experience as an unforgettable one that taught her a lot about life, her future, people, and her patients.

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