GN orientation

Nurses General Nursing


I am charged with designing orientation program for GN's in acute care facility. What do you think should be included/excluded? Do you think GN's should orient to more than unit? we want to bridge gap between expectations and reality (theirs AND ours). Thanks for your help.

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Yes...Yes...Yes...without a doubt...Yes...mandate it that GNs be rotated throughout the 'house' so they can get a feel for what their professional nick in the nursing field should be. Orient them just like the med students. If the GNs don't have this opportunity afforded them right off the bat after they are first hired in an acute care facility, the hospitals are doing them a disservice, and the GNs are doing themselves a disservice. GNs come on board with many EXPECTATIONS, but few master the REALITY of what they end up finding...therefore, their first jobs are often short lived.

Besides orienting them to various units of their choosing, it would also behoove the hospital admins to once and for all allow the GNs to actually COMPLETE their orientations BEFORE throwing them out to pasture. It is NOT the GNs fault that hospitals are shortstaffed, yet often times their orientations are cut short DUE TO SHORTSTAFFING, and hospitals want to take advantage of them far too early in their orientation phase. Treat them professionally, respect them for where they are at in their training as new GNs, and stop expecting them to have the same amount of experience as us seasoned nurses. :)

We recently piloted a new program for our GN's. They go to centralized nursing orientation in which they learn the lay of the land, the equipment that they generally will come across and the members and functions of the disciplines. After the week long orientation, they come to the floor. Each floor has its own orientation program designed for the patient population. It has worked really well. For example, on our cardiac floor, week one is Chest pain, then MI, then CHF, etc, etc. As the weeks progress, the orientee increases numbers and skills. Overall, it has been great for both the preceptor and the orientee. Let me know if you want anymore information. Be happy to help.

Specializes in Anesthesia.

Several hospitals I am considering have 3 month orientation programs. You spend the first 4 weeks in the classroom learning policies and procedures and the next 8 weeks you orient to the floor you'll be working on. I agree with cheerfuldoer- Gn's should be rotated like the med students.

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

I would have loved to rotate throughout the house. I did a similar program...we have a 16 week new grad RN internship program, divided up into 2 8 week segments. Mine was 8 weeks in ER and 8 weeks in CVRR. Some other options were ER+ICU, MS+ICU, Oncology+ICU, MS+OB, and ER+NICU.

I think it works well when unit time is combined with class time, so you end up with a little of both each week.

Good luck! :)

ERNurse752, RN

1,323 Posts

Oh, they also had "transition classes." This was where the new grads got together with one of the educators to talk about being new grads and how they felt about the transition and new responsibilities, etc.


1 Post

Our hospital has extended orientation for our GN's. Following their first week up in Nursing Education for their general orientation, they report to their units. That following week and for the next 4 weeks, they come back to Nursing Education on Mondays to get extra help with things like communication and delegation skills, crash carts, codes, etc... This allows them to experience things on the floor and then talk and ask questions about things one extra day a week. We also provide special Preceptor workshops for those who mentor our GN's in that initial period. Depending on the unit they work on-- total orientation time is usually 12 weeks for a Med/Surg to 1 year for OR.

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