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RN Transition to Practice Program (RNTTP)

New graduate nurses, nurses with less than 1 year of experience, ADN, and/or BSN nurses eligible to apply.

RN Transition to Practice Residency Program (RNTTP) is a comprehensive developmental training program designed to assist the post-graduate nurse or nurse with less than one year of experience in the transition from entry level, advanced beginner nurse to competent professional RN. The program consists of a 12-month standardized curriculum focused on refinement of graduate nurse clinical competencies, and development of professional nursing roles and leadership characteristics. The participant has the opportunity to perform the role, duties, patient care activities and procedures that are carried out by RNs.  

Program at a glance

  • Monthly didactic classes  
  • Clinical rotations
  • Assigned a qualified preceptor and mentor
  • Simulation classes


  • Be a U. S. citizen and meet physical examination standards
  • Complete the application process 
  • Pass background check/ physical exam  requirements
  • Attended nursing school that is ACEN or CCNE accredited


The RNTTP Residency Program will assist the novice nurse as they transition into competent clinical practice in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) through a one-year residency program with learning experiences in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment.


The RNTTP Residency Program philosophy comes from a humanistic perspective. The RNTTP Residency Program staff believe the first year of nursing practice is an evolutionary pathway that leads to professional nursing practice with a passion for caring for America’s Veterans. The program allows transition of new graduates to occur in a supportive environment that engages the use of didactic learning, personal reflections, simulation, and clinical experience with preceptors. All activities are encompassed in a paradigm of caring and respect.


  • RNTTP Residents will demonstrate an advanced beginner level of competency in managing and delivering quality patient care, professional role modeling, and leadership.
  • RNTTP Residents will demonstrate confidence in their nursing practice.
  • The RNTTP Residency Program supports the successful transition of the new novice RN to a professional RN.
  • The RNTTP Residency Program supports the retention of RNTTP Residents into employment with the VA Healthcare System.
  • The RNTTP Residency Program delivers a satisfactory experience for both RNTTP Residents and Stakeholders in the RNTTP resident’s transition to professional practice. 

Upon completion of the program

Upon completion of the program, the RNTTP resident will:

  • Show an increase in overall Resident Competency Assessment scores from Month 1 to Month 12
  • Feel prepared to complete job responsibilities
  • Complete the residency program
  • Remain at the VHA upon completion of the residency program 
  • Report satisfaction in the overall program

Curricular Components

  • Classroom Didactics: Year-long didactic curriculum plan.
  • Experiential Learning Activities: Interwoven simulation, case studies, and shadowing experiences to practice skills, develop critical thinking, understand clinical reasoning, and utilize clinical judgment in a safe, non-threatening environment.
  • Professional Engagement: Exposure to nurse leadership, nurse educators and formal preceptor relationships.
  • Evidence-Based Projects: RNTTP Residents will identify an area needing improvement within the SFVAHCS, complete a literature review, and propose a change in practice. The RNTTP Residents will present the project upon completion of the program.
  • Personal Development Plans: RNTTP Residents will complete a personal development plan to understand short- and long-term goals and identify their strengths and improvement needs.

For more information contact:

Michelle Hamm MSN, RN

RNTTP Program Director

VA Sioux Falls health care