The Transitional Orientation
Evidenced-Based Internship Program for RNs!
the Transitional Orientation Program
The Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS) Transitional Orientation
Program (TOP) is a cutting edge, evidence-based internship
program for newly licensed nurses, nurses wishing to change
specialties, and nurses returning to the acute-care setting
after an extended leave. Nurses hired into the TOP will receive
needed support, education, professional development and
Each nurse intern, in the TOP program, will receive an in-depth
assessment of their critical thinking skills that are necessary
for success in acute-care. This assessment will guide nurse
educators in the development of an individualized orientation
plan for each intern.
The LMHS TOP’s main objective is to help transition the intern
into a safe, competent, confident and satisfied independent
nurse! The first year of practice can be a stressful time for
new grads, so all participants in the TOP program will also be
assigned an Intern Development Specialist (IDS) to ensure
oversight of their development and to provide support and
How Will the Transitional Orientation Program Help Me Reach My
Since the TOP is a truly individualized program, the classroom
content and clinical experiences have been designed to be
tailored to the unique needs of each intern.
During the first week of the TOP, interns will be introduced to
professional practice and explore such topics as:
• Risk Management/Documentation
• Sabotage Savvy/Conflict Management
• Reflective Learning
• Nursing Informatics/Evidence-Based Practice
In the weeks
that follow, each nurse intern will work side-by-side with an
experienced nurse, referred to as a Clinical Coach, who enjoys
working with interns and who has completed additional education
to prepare for the role. During this time the intern will also
take part in specially selected Critical Thinking Experiences (CTE).
There are a wide variety of CTEs, and they include:
• Management of Abdominal Pain
• Management of Chest Pain
• Alterations in Respiratory Status
• Neurologic Challenges
• Changes in Urinary Output
• Management of Metabolic Challenges
• Management of Circulatory Complications
• Infectious Diseases
the typical nursing school class format, our CTEs focus on the
enhancement of critical thinking and clinical judgment. Emphasis
is placed on problem identification, management, and
differentiation of urgency. Every intern also receives cardiac
rhythm recognition training, and unit-based specialty
In the TOP there is not a pre-determined length of time allotted
for an intern to transition to independent practice. We have
found that the typical length of time for orientation may extend
from 6-20 weeks, depending on the practice area and the needs of
The IDS will meet with the intern on a regular basis, at least
daily or weekly at first, to ensure a smooth transition to
independent practice. The IDS will then continue to work with
the intern for a period of two years to assist with professional
development, career planning and mentorship.
Each intern will also receive the monthly, new nurse newsletter,
N3. This newsletter is packed with evidenced-based information,
support, recognitions, tips and tricks and valuable LMHS policy
and procedure review.
Orientation Unit (TOU)
Based upon individual assessment and needs, approximately 30% of
interns will complete four weeks on the TOU at Cape Coral
Hospital, before reporting to their unit of hire. During this
intensive time, interns will be assigned a ‘super’ Clinical
Coach and will work with an IDS on a daily basis. Patient
assignments on this Medical/Surgical unit are abbreviated to
ensure ample, one-to-one, in-depth development.
Transitional Orientation Program Clinical Areas
Here at LMHS, interns are accepted into all clinical areas,
intermittently throughout the year. Some of our practice areas
• Emergency Department
• Intensive Care
• Labor and Delivery/ Mom-Baby
• Neonatal Intensive Care
• Operating Room
• Pediatric Intensive Care
• Progressive Care
four acute care, and two specialty hospitals. They are: Cape
Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical
Center, Lee Memorial Hospital, The Children’s Hospital of
Southwest Florida, and the Rehabilitation Hospital.
How Do I Apply to the Transitional Orientation Program?
For the first five days of most months, candidates should apply
www.leememorial.org. There will only be one “Intern/RN”
position that is posted, as all intern candidates must apply to
the program to be considered.
In order for the application to be approved and accepted,
candidates must be currently licensed to practice nursing in
Florida, and hold a current American Heart Association Basic
Life Support card valid for at least 90 days from the hire date.
Once the online application is approved and accepted, the
candidate may be contacted by phone for a brief interview by a
nurse recruiter in Human Resources. Several more interviews will
be conducted during the selection process, as LMHS places a high
value on hiring the best candidates for our internship program.
Due to the huge investment in each individual intern’s
development, a two (2) year work commitment agreement will be
required upon hire into the Transitional Orientation Program.
Lee Memorial Health
To continue to meet the health care needs and improve the health
status of the people of Southwest Florida.
We are caring people, caring for people.
To become the best patient-centered health care system in
Florida, through balancing quality, access and cost.
We are committed to the values of safety, respect, honesty,
compassion, teamwork, loyalty, initiative, adaptability and
Last update: 9/05/12