Nursing Orientation

What is Nursing Orientation All About?

Preparation of new nursing staff for providing excellent nursing care to Pediatric Hematology/Oncology patients and their family is the primary focus of St. Jude Nursing Orientation. Orientees are engaged in group learning that involves cooperative learning activities that include St Jude Children’s Research Hospital patient case based scenarios. Case-based learning involves an interactive classroom that deals with realistic and specific healthcare situations. Nurse Educators, as well as, other clinical experts work through these cases with orientees during orientation.

RN/LPN Orientation Plan

Nursing Orientation and Unit Professional Development Educators provide a core orientation program for all newly employed Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses. Content is designed to convey a basic understanding of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and related nursing care. Pediatric Hematology / Oncology is an intensive field whereas its scope and complexity can be overwhelming for new nurses who are caring for pediatric hematology/oncology patients for the first time. RN/LPN Orientation is offered monthly for new graduate and experienced nurses.

The four phases of nursing orientation

Phase I Clinical Immersion 

Clinical Immersion is designed to provide newly hired nurses an opportunity to obtain basic familiarity with their assigned nursing unit so that when childhood catastrophic diseases, treatments, nursing care, policies, procedures, protocols, and medications are addressed in nursing classroom orientation, the orientee will have an experiential basis for understanding the content.

New nurses are clinically immersed into their unit of hire. The new nurses are assigned a clinical colleague that will guide them through their initial experience with St Jude patients, families, and staff. The new nurse collects pertinent information on patients with common frequent diagnoses on their unit of hire and documents information on Clinical Immersion Packets.

Phase II Classroom Orientation 

RN/LPN Classroom Orientation is provided by Nursing Orientation Professional Development Educators following Phase I Clinical Immersion. The orientees complete an online learning styles survey which is used to enhance learning experiences during orientation, as well as, during clinicals when preceptor assignments are made by educators. Nurse Orientees are engaged in their learning with use of cooperative learning activities and educational technology. Laptop and desktop computers, a smart board, visual presenter, eStat and state of the art audio/visual equipment are used during classroom orientation experiences. Web-based assignments are completed.

As orientees are prepared to deliver excellent nursing care to St Jude patients and families, essential Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology topics and initial competencies are presented by clinical experts. Hands on learning opportunities are integrated into the orientation program. A medication calculation test must be completed with a passing score of 85% or greater. The orientees are guided through the following: Discussions of nursing process, critical thinking case-based activities, patient safety, infection control practices, blood counts, common childhood catastrophic diseases process/complications, oral care, characteristics of population served, medication calculation, IV therapy, common policies and procedures, standards of care, skills competency overviews, patient teaching, nursing documentation, mandatory safety training, and chemotherapy policy. Nurse orientees attend computer training and electronic positive patient identification specimen labeling classes.

Phase III Clinical with Preceptor 

After the new employee has completed some time in the assigned area with preceptors, she/he returns to the classroom for Phase III. Additional classroom content is provided to further facilitate learning. The orientation program lasts 10-12 weeks, depending on the new employee’s individual needs.

Phase IV Callback Week

After the nurse orientee has completed Phase III of Nursing Orientation, the orientee returns to Nursing Classroom Orientation for Phase IV Callback Week. Additional classroom content is provided to further facilitate learning of essential pediatric hematology/oncology topics such as: End of life care, clinical nutrition, pressure ulcer prevention, and child abuse/neglect. Initial competencies are checked off during Callback Week. Orientees must demonstrate competence in areas that include Line Care, Harvey Team, Sedation, Epidural Pain Management, and Tracheostomy Care.

The Nursing Orientation Program lasts eight to twenty-two weeks. Additional clinical time may be granted to orientees depending on their individual needs and experiences. The Nursing Orientation Professional Development Educators design, plan, facilitate, and teach throughout Phase I, II, and IV. In Phase III, individualized orientation plans are designed by the Unit Professional Development Educators to enhance the orientees’ learning experiences while becoming an excellent pediatric hematology/oncology nurse at St Jude.

The orientees complete the APHON Chemotherapy & Biotherapy and EKG Course during their orientation period.