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RELEASE: Lebanon VAMC Accepting Applications for RN Transition to Practice Program


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Lebanon VAMC Accepting Applications for RN Transition to Practice Program

Program assists new RNs move from classroom to clinical setting


For Immediate Release – Feb. 7, 2018

LEBANON, Pa. – The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center announced it will accept a second group of RN Transition to Practice candidates in the spring of 2018.

The program helps new nurses bridge the gap in knowledge and skill from the classroom to the clinical practice setting. The focus of the program is to assist newly-graduated registered nurses sharpen their clinical skills, increase their knowledge base, groom them to be proficient clinicians and develop leadership.

The RN Transition to Practice program incorporates 12 months of mentoring, educational curriculum and shadowing experiences throughout all clinical areas of the hospital. Any newly-licensed nurse with one year or less of RN experience may apply for the program. The new graduates benefit from classroom sessions taught by subject matter experts on topics such as quality of care, safety, assessment skills, behavioral health initiatives, ethics, evidence-based practice and telemetry. Additionally, the new RNs are paired with seasoned nurses creating a safer environment, building critical thinking skills and promoting confidence through increased competence. The program decreases errors and increases a new RNs’ understanding of nursing practice, improving overall patient safety and quality of care.

“For many new RNs, their first year of practice is often filled with trepidation and stress. This first year often sets the tone for the rest of their nursing career,” said Margaret G. Wilson, MSN, RN, associate director for patient care services and nurse executive at Lebanon VA Medical Center. “New grads often receive only a few weeks of orientation and are immediately expected to take on a full patient assignment without being completely prepared. With this approach, there isn’t a safety net and many nurses feel as though it’s sink or swim. This program allows us to work with new nursing graduates and assist them in growing their skills, knowledge and confidence. We also have the opportunity to weave our values and culture, expertise and experience, critical thinking and compassion into their professional practice from the first moments of their new career ensuring more positive patient outcomes and nursing satisfaction.”

Participants in the program receive the same pay and benefits as other full-time RNs and upon completion of the program are guaranteed a nursing position at Lebanon VAMC.

“I think it’s a fabulous idea,” said current program participant Adreanne Howlett, RN. “It is an orientation program expanded to encompass so many additional learning opportunities. The program allows nurses the opportunity to shadow experienced nurses and see the overall flow of care throughout the hospital and offers experiences in areas not normally open to new grads such as ICU, PACU and the OR. I love it!”

Students and RNs who are interested in the program should contact Ashley Klick, RN, at 717-272-6621, ext. 5511, or via email at

The Lebanon VA Medical Center is one of 170 medical centers in the nation with the sole purpose of providing world-class medical care to America’s Veterans. Lebanon VAMC serves a nine county area in South Central Pennsylvania covering Adams, Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties. Lebanon VAMC also oversees community clinics located in Camp Hill, Lancaster, Pottsville, Wyomissing, York and Fort Indiantown Gap. If you are Veteran, you may be eligible to receive care and benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more, call 717-228-6000.

For more information about the Lebanon VA Medical Center, visit, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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