Revised Nursing Orientation Program Receives Great Reviews

Orientation of new nursing staff is a unique opportunity to inform and engage orientees and the UCSF nurse educator group plays a key role in making sure this experience is a positive one.

In 2010, the Department of Nursing Education revamped the nursing orientation program to make it more innovative and effective. The primary goal was to promote a more standardized process for a diverse group of incoming nurses, including career staff, per diems, and travelers, working in adult and pediatric acute care and critical care units. The content covered in orientation was also reorganized and presented in a more meaningful way to promote patient safety and knowledge retention.

The revised orientation program relies heavily on the principles of adult learning to actively engage the participants. Instead of providing all day lectures and numerous online modules, nurse educators use interactive tools, such as clickers during lectures, utilize multimedia, interact with games, and provide skills stations for group training. Using the clicker technology, multiple quiz questions are integrated throughout the orientation sessions to determine real-time learning status and provide immediate feedback to the educators. This allows the course to be tailored to the needs of the students during class in order to provide reinforcement or remediation. Breakout sessions are also used to provide more cluster-specific content for groups from different patient care areas.

The revised orientation program has proven to be a success. There has been a 12% improvement in the overall results from the quiz questions. The program evaluation scores have also indicated improvement.  About 36% of the orientees who attended the revised orientation program indicated that this was the best orientation they ever attended.  In addition, 52% indicated that the sessions are better than other orientation programs previously attended at other institutions.