New Employee Professional Development Programs in Hospital Setting

New Employee Orientation Blueprint


Transition to a new workplace is associated with significant stress, together with decreased effectiveness and efficiency of employees (Strauss, Ovnat, Gonen, Lev-Ari, & Mizrahi, 2016). Stress may lead to a significant drop in the quality of care due to mistakes and missed treatments (Strauss et al., 2016). Nurses that went through structured orientation programs report a higher level of adaptation and job satisfaction in comparison with those who did not go through an orientation program (Strauss et al., 2016). Thus, it is considered crucial to implement a comprehensive orientation program for nurses to improve patient outcomes.


The purpose of the present blueprint is to create a guideline for the orientation of newly-hired nurses. The guideline is expected to ensure that new employees are familiarized with the working environment, regulations, demands, and expectations for new employees. The orientation program is designed to help new nurses achieve the highest level of competence and confidence in the shortest possible time.

Theoretical Framework

The orientation program is based upon the Miller pyramid competency model, which was found effective for preparing nurses for realities at a new workplace (Chen et al., 2016). The framework proposes that the orientation program should help new employees to learn needed material, interpret the knowledge, demonstrate the knowledge, and then integrate the knowledge into practice (Chen et al., 2016). The framework is visualized in Figure 1 below.

Miller pyramid competency model.
Figure 1. Miller pyramid competency model.


The orientation program is subdivided into two steps. During the first step, new employees are provided with all the knowledge that is needed to perform the duties effectively. The knowledge base is subdivided into several modules. New employees are given one work to complete every module. After that, new employees are tested and provided with a mentor to guide their practice and assess their competence. The entire program takes up 11 working days, and, on the 12th day, the final decision is made if the nurses are ready for work. A brief schedule of the program is provided below:

  • Day 1: Organization’s mission, vision, principles, and brief history.
  • Day 2: An overview of the most important laws and regulations guiding the nursing practice.
  • Day 3: Detailed outline of responsibilities and expectations, including the working schedule.
  • Day 4: An overview of documentation, reports, and healthcare technology needed to fulfill the responsibilities.
  • Day 5: Organizational structure with an emphasis on specific people that can help with workplace issues and decision-making.
  • Day 6: Examination of all the topics.
  • Days 7-11: Working with a mentor.
  • Day 12: Final assessment.

The first six days of the program are conducted using digital platforms. While new employees still need to be at work during these days, they can complete the modules using any appropriate device with an internet connection. The final assessment is conducted orally. Apart from learning, new employees are still expected to participate in caring for patients if needed.

Education Providers

A nurse educator is responsible for setting up the program and monitoring the success of new employees. The mentors are chosen among the best available nurse practitioners. The nurse educator is also assisted by the IT staff to manage the online part of the project.

Needed Materials

The majority of the program will be provided online using Google Classroom. The service allows reading the study material, communicating in chat or via forums, submitting and grading assignments, and tracking the progress. It is also free, which is vital for improving the cost-efficiency of the orientation program. Considering that new employees may have a different level of technological literacy, IT staff is expected to help with understanding how Google Classroom works. The only handout that will be given to new employees is a reminder of the organizational principles on one side, and a list of vital contacts on the other.

Expected Effect

The orientation program is expected to have a significant impact on employee retention and motivation. According to Gurley (2017), effective orientation programs help to reduce stress from transition to a new workplace. Decreased pressure leads to increased work satisfaction, which, in turn, leads to reduced turnover intentions (Gurley, 2017). Decreased stress also reduces the chances of workplace burnout (Gurley, 2017). The program is also expected to improve the satisfaction of mentors, as they will be offered additional payment for every hour worked directly with new employees.

Professional Development Program Blueprint


Professional development is extremely important for nursing specialists, as healthcare is a fast-pacing industry that accumulates and integrates knowledge rapidly. Digital literacy is extremely important for all levels of healthcare professionals due to the increased utilization of technologically-advanced solutions for healthcare delivery (Royal College of Nursing, 2017). One of the most imperative technologies that need integration is the electronic health record (EHR) system. While such systems are used by the majority of hospitals in the US, these systems often lack interoperability (Orenstein, 2018). Thus, nurses often face the need to learn to operate new EHR systems or their updated versions.


The purpose of the present paper is to describe a professional development program for nurses to learn a new skill of operating an updated EHR system. Additionally, the program is designed to provide cross-training for both nurses and IT personnel. The nurses will learn basic troubleshooting procedures to deal with minor EHR system problems, while the IT personnel will learn the digital needs of nurses.

Theoretical Framework

The training program is based on the theory of cognitive learning. Cognitivism focuses on the efficient use of the brain (Indeed, 2019). Cognitive learning presupposes the active use of senses, experience, and thought (Indeed, 2019). Additionally, it structures knowledge into comprehensive charts to acquire a systematic understanding of a matter (Indeed, 2019).


The training program is expected to take three days. The training will be conducted in a face-to-face format in a special classroom with a computer for every nurse. The training group should be 10-15 people to ensure that the trainers have enough time to reach every trainee. The schedule for the professional development program is presented below:

  • Day 1. A two-hour session. Introduction to the new EHR system using a PowerPoint presentation. The emphasis of the presentation is put on the similarities and differences with the previous EHR system. The first day of training is concluded with a question-answer session.
  • Day 2. A two-hour session. Practicing the use of the new EHR system. The trainees are provided with a set of tasks and problems they need to complete to master the program. During the last 30 minutes, the nurses are given a handout about the most frequent problems with the new system and the ways to address them without the help of the IT specialists. The trainees go over the troubleshooting procedures with the trainers.
  • Day 3. Two two-hour sessions. During the first session, IT personnel and the nurses discuss the wants and needs of the front-line care providers in terms of IT support. During the second session, the participants share their thoughts about the program, and the nurses are given certificates of completion of the training program.

Required Resources and Preparations

The training program requires significant resources. First, the training program supposes that a separate room is provided with 10-15 computers (or laptops) and presentation equipment. The program will be provided by two trainers, which should be chosen among the IT personnel. The trainers need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation and a handout about troubleshooting procedures. Additionally, the trainers need to install the new EHR system on the training computers and prepare a list of problems and tasks for the trainees. The trainers need to consider that the trainees may have varying levels of technology readiness, which implies that the presentation and the tasks should be adapted for all types of users.

Expected Effect

Professional development of employees is the key to raising the efficiency and effectiveness of company processes. According to Biro (2018), an employer who does not invest in the professional development of the employees will miss out on performance, engagement, and retention. The development program proposed in the present paper is expected to diminish the stress of the employees and improve inter-departmental collaboration. Improved ability to operate the HER system will decrease stress among nurses and increase retention rates. Additionally, the collaboration session on the last day of the program will help the employees from different departments to understand each other and develop patterns for communication.


Biro, M. (2018). Developing your employees is the key to retention — Here are 4 smart ways to start. Forbes. Web.

Chen, X., Zhuang, Y., Wang, F., Dong, L., Zhou, L., & Zhou, Y. (2016). Development and application of an ICU new nurses orientation program based on the Miller pyramid competency model. Chinese Journal of Practical Nursing, 32(19), 1493-1496.

Gurley, K. (2017). Impact of orientation and mentoring to job satisfaction and retention [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Mount Olive.

Indeed. (2019). Cognitive learning: Definition, benefits and examples. Web.

Orenstein, D. (2018). EHR integration: Achieving this digital health imperative.

Royal College of Nursing. (2017). Improving digital literacy. NHS: Health Education England. Web.

Strauss, E., Ovnat, C., Gonen, A., Lev-Ari, L., & Mizrahi, A. (2016). Do orientation programs help new graduates? Nurse Education Today, 36, 422-426.