RN Residency Program: Orientation Shifts

Orientation length varies.

  • 12 weeks in MedSurg, Postpartum, and Telemetry
  • 16 or more weeks in Critical Care areas
  • 20 or more weeks in Labor and Delivery.

During orientation you will practice under the direct, 1:1 supervision of an experienced nurse preceptor. We include specialty specific education, peer support, frequent feedback on your performance and simulations in all our New Grad orientation tracks.

Simulations are designed for your benefit to allow you to practice managing rapidly changing patient scenarios in a safe environment with Advanced Practice nurse educators (the job title is Professional Development Specialist, or PDS for short) who will support your growth and development as a new nurse. You continue to receive mentoring, support and training throughout the first year of employment to ensure success.

Most units have new grads orient on day shift for 6-12 weeks and then move to their off shift. A few units orient completely on the shift you are projected to work on. As you near the end of orientation, you will be assigned to work on a specific unit and shift. The vast majority of nurses will stay on the unit they are oriented to. A few (about 1 percent) may be transferred to a similar unit where a position is open.

A vast majority will work night shift and a few may be assigned day or evening positions. Almost all will be assigned to 12 hour shifts. A few may be assigned 8 hour shifts.

The program doesn’t end at orientation. The length of time on night shift will vary by specialty area and unit. Critical Care and Obstetric residents should expect to work about five years on nights before being eligible to transfer to a day shift position.