Utilization of experiential learning, and the learning outcomes model reduces RN orientation time by more than 35%

Jason J. Zigmont, Angie Wade, Tricia Edwards, Karen Hayes, Janie Mitchell, Nichole Oocumma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Nursing orientation and transition to practice is a growing problem for hospitals. Experiential learning including simulation provides an opportunity to improve the transition to practice. Methods: An experiential learning approach following the Learning Outcomes Model, including simulation and standardized patients, was utilized to increase RN competency in a shorter period of time. The program was piloted at a large independent academic medical center. Results: A total of 153 RNs participated in the revised orientation during the pilot year. New graduate and experienced RNs had a 3.6- (34%) and 3.9-week reduction (37%) in orientation length respectively (. p<0.001). Total estimated gross savings for the 12-month period was $702,270. Conclusion: The successful design of the orientation required changes in all three areas of the Learning Outcomes Model-the individual, experiences, and environment. Integrating experiential learning theory through the use of simulation-enhanced RN orientation resulted in more prepared RNs, improved communication among administrators, staff, and orientees, and a significant cost savings to the organization. Implementation of such programs may help centers to demonstrate similar outcomes (e.g., as returns on investment, increased buy-in, and obtaining resources).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-94
Number of pages16
JournalClinical Simulation in Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • RN orientation
  • Return on investment
  • Simulation
  • Standardized patients
  • Transition to practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Education
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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