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Nursing Orientation

UC Irvine Medical Center’s Department of Nursing Quality, Research and Education has a Nursing Orientation Program to help newly hired nurses transition into the role of professional nurse.

The philosophy of the nursing orientation program is to promote clinical excellence, professional development and a healthy work environment that fosters nurses who are prepared and empowered to positively impact and improve the quality of healthcare they provide.

Our educational model is The Novice to Expert Model, which was created by Dr. Patricia Benner. We understand that being in healthcare as an inexperienced nurse is difficult. A nurse is expected to pass through five levels of development during his or her career. Each step builds on the previous one as the nurse gains clinical expertise. Our goal is to support the nurse through each level of development until clinical expertise is reached.

Three orientation pathways are available to nurses new to UC Irvine:

  1. New hire with specialty experience pathway
  2. New hire without specialty experience pathway
  3. New graduate nurse

 Track options are:

  • Adult critical care
  • Adult medicine
  • Adult surgery
  • Neonatal intensive care
  • Perinatal
  • Psychiatric health
  • Emergency
  • Perioperative

The following outline details the initial orientation pathways (to view large, click on the image):

UC Irvine Medical Center new hire nurse orientation program

Two-year plan for new graduate nurses

The new graduate nurse starts the orientation process at UC Irvine as a novice. It is our goal to help new graduates become knowledgable, competent, efficient and confident nurses with strong communication skills by their second year.

The breadth and complexity of material presented in the initial introduction course is best retained when supported and nurtured over a period of time. To facilitate this process, the program for new graduate nurses provides ongoing education throughout the first two years. During that time, orientation is our priority and we are fully invested in ensuring the success of all new graduates. Lifelong learning is an essential aspect of the nursing profession. The two-year plan is only the beginning of that ongoing education.

Examples of the two-year orientation process are:

UC Irvine Medical Center year-one nurse orientation

UC Irvine Medical Center nurse two-year orientation process