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Acknowledgement
The Women’s and Children’s Health Network acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Traditional Custodians of Country throughout South Australia. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing and deep spiritual connection and relationship to land, air, sea, waters, community and country. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

Transition to Professional Practice Program for Registered Nurses 2025

The SA Health Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) at the WCHN provides new Registered Nurses with an opportunity to gain experience, knowledge and clinical skills as they take their first steps in Paediatric Nursing.

Take your first steps in Paediatric Nursing with us!

The Women's and Children's Health Network is South Australia’s leading provider of health services to babies, children, young people and women. The Women's and Children's Hospital provides specialist health care services to children and young people with acute and chronic conditions. The hospital also provides the state's largest neonatal, maternity and obstetric service.

The Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network provides the newly Registered Nurse with an opportunity to gain Paediatric experience, (in the acute and/or community setting), knowledge and clinical skills as they take their first steps in Paediatric Nursing.

Our Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) curriculum aims to facilitate a learning environment which empowers transitioning staff to:

  • Navigate the workplace and professional culture
  • Practice as confident and competent professionals within their specialised field
  • Work as part of an effective inter-professional team
  • Identify and celebrate the unique skills, knowledge and experiences each individual brings.

To achieve this, transition support at the WCH:

  • Recognises and acknowledges the Stages of Transition© (Boychuk Duchscher 2007)
  • Recognises and acknowledges the reality of Transition Shock© (BD 2007)
  • Recognises and utilises the unique learning styles, personality types and character strengths of each individual
  • Formulates learning activities which incorporate critical thinking, evidence-informed practice, reflection and simulation targeted at individual and group learning needs
  • Ensures constructive and timely feedback is provided to support transitioning staff
  • Equips teams with the skills and knowledge to support transitioning staff and individuals within these teams undertake support roles
  • Empowers the individual to develop self-care strategies to achieve an effective work/life blend during their TPPP and beyond.

Feedback from previous participants

I have progressed through all the stages (of Transition), from not even knowing the routine of the ward and just seeing the next step through to feeling like I have worked on the ward for a very long time and now feel at ease.

– TPPP RN

My confidence has increased dramatically through experience and supervision from specialist staff. Both (placements) were extremely supportive working environments, facilitating growth and self-confidence through constant feedback. I felt comfortable asking questions without feeling 'silly'.

– TPPP RN

I feel the TPPP at WCH assisted in taking away the initial fear of starting as an RN from University, then the ongoing support throughout the year aided in my progression.

– TPPP RN

Amazing program and I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with such amazing and passionate nurses.

– TPPP RN

The support and guidance from ward educators has been invaluable and their assistance combined with experience and knowledge has helped to increase my confidence.

– TPPP RN

Fantastic program that provides amazing support and educational opportunities. Although the year has provided me with many challenges I feel that the program has allowed me to progress at a pace suited to me so that the challenges could be overcome. The program has made me feel like a valued member of the team. I would recommend the program to any new nurses.

– TPPP RN

Transition support and program details

All Registered Nurses participating in the TPPP RN are provided with comprehensive support from a variety of skilled staff, including:

  • Ward-based clinical educators
  • Preceptors and Post-Graduate Buddies
  • Working with Wisdom (WwW) Mentors
  • Nurse/Midwife Unit Managers / Advanced Nurse Unit Managers
  • Nurse Managers
  • Educator – TPPP Co-ordinator: Nursing and Midwifery

Each TPPP position at the Women's and Children's Health Network provides newly registered Nurses with:

  • Transition support from the Transition Team, including 1:1 coaching
  • Orientation to the organisation and clinical areas
  • Clinical placement experiences including ward-based education and support from clinical educators
  • Clinical feedback throughout each placement from senior staff
  • Participation in the Introduction to Paediatrics modules (Professional Development Days) and workshops
  • Weekly debriefs with the TPPP Coordinators and Transition Support News emails
  • Access to additional learning resources and educational opportunities throughout the year.

Clinical placement opportunities

Various program options may be available in 2025, including:

  • Paediatric Nursing Stream (2 x 6 month clinical placements in diverse ward/unit areas)
    • The Paediatric Nursing Stream will provide newly Registered Nurses with a comprehensive Paediatric experience during their first year of practice. Two placements will be offered within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
  • WCH Paediatric Placement and a Community Placement at Child and Family Health Services (CaFHS) or 3D Health (1 x 6 month clinical placement at the WCH acute setting and 1 x 6 month placement in the community setting)
    • This stream provides a unique opportunity for transitioning Nurses to have the opportunity to work with families and patients in a community setting with another 6 month placement in a paediatric ward /unit at the WCH Campus. Please refer to further information below regarding CaFHS and 3D Health.

Clinical placements are conducted in the medical and surgical wards and various specialty areas within the WCH Campus and the community settings, allowing the newly registered nurse to develop a wide range of professional and paediatric nursing skills. Successful applicants will be asked for their preferences prior to commencing their contracts. Placements in 2024 are dependent on service needs and may include:

  • Surgical Inpatient Units: Newland, Kate Hill, Surgical Short Stay Unit
  • Perioperative Services (Recovery or Operating Suite)
  • Paediatric Outpatients Department
  • Medical Wards: Cassia and Medical Short Stay Ward
  • Adolescent Ward
  • Rose Ward (Babies under 12 months)
  • Paediatric Emergency Department
  • Paediatric Intensive Care and Paediatric High Dependency Unit
  • Oncology/Haematology; Michael Rice Ward and Clinic
  • Mental Health: Mallee Ward
  • Medical Day Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Neonatal Services – Special Care Unit
  • Child and Family Health Service (Community)
  • 3D Health (Community)

Positions will be offered at 0.84FTE.

See below for more details of each placement option.

Paediatric Surgical Services

Paediatric Surgical Services provides many dynamic learning opportunities for Registered Nurses in the areas of orthopaedics, burns, neurosurgery, craniofacial, ophthalmology, ENT (ear, nose and throat), urology, plastic, thoracic, minor cardiac and general surgery and includes the following wards/units:

  • Newland Ward
  • Kate Hill Ward
  • Surgical Short Stay Unit (SSSU)
    • Day of Surgery Admissions (DOSA)
    • Day Surgery Unit
    • Campbell Ward
  • Perioperative Service (Rogerson Theatres and Queen Victoria Operating Suite)
    • Scrub / Scout
    • Recovery
  • Paediatric Outpatients Department
Newland Ward

Newland Ward is a 16-bed ward and is one of the main paediatric surgical wards for South Australia. Newland ward provides expert care to patients and families after surgery or trauma. Newland ward cares for patients from various surgical specialties and provides Registered Nurses with many fulfilling learning experiences and exposure to a wide variety of skills. Newland ward surgical specialties include burns, plastic surgery, urology, general surgery and thoracic surgery. In the team trained environment, Nurses are supported by a buddy each shift. Two preceptors are also allocated at the commencement of each placement.

Kate Hill Ward

Kate Hill Ward is a 16-bed ward and is one of the main paediatric surgical wards for South Australia. Kate Hill ward provides expert care to patients and families admitted under the surgical specialties of Neurosurgery, craniofacial surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, ENT (ear, nose and throat) and rehabilitation services. Kate Hill ward provides Registered Nurses with the essential skills of paediatric neurological assessment and associated nursing care. Nurses are supported by a buddy each shift. Two preceptors are also allocated at the commencement of each placement.

Surgical Short Stay Unit (SSSU)

This area comprises 3 clinical areas of Day of Surgery Admissions (DOSA), Day Surgery (DS) and Campbell Ward. Nurses working in the SSSU will experience each area throughout their 6 month placement.

Day of Surgery Admissions Area (DOSA)

  • Pre-operative area where children are prepared for their elective surgical/medical intervention.
  • Children and families go through an admission process that allows them to ask questions and clarify concerns before their procedure starts.
  • As DOSA is often the first point of contact to the hospital for many families it is essential to have refined communication skills. DOSA also provides Registered Nurses with the opportunity to improve their handover, assessment and communication skills.

Paediatric Day Surgery Unit (DS)

  • This unit has 20 beds which cater for paediatric patients undergoing day surgery procedures under anaesthetic. The average length of stay is 1-2 hours.
  • There is a high turnover of patients which allows graduate nurses to refine their organisation and observation skills and discharge education proficiency.
  • Nurses will also have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills when participating in the weekly Burns clinic.

Campbell Ward

  • Campbell Ward has 16 beds and is dedicated to the care of paediatric patients who have undergone procedures requiring anaesthesia followed by a short stay in hospital of up to 36 hours. Campbell ward is team trained and provides Registered Nurses with support and learning opportunities in many areas of paediatric surgical nursing.
  • Excellent admission and discharge skills are obtained in this placement as there is a high turnover of patients.
Perioperative Services

Recovery

In a Recovery rotation in Rogerson and QVOS Theatres, Registered Nurses will be involved in both paediatric and obstetric fields, inclusive of a wide range of surgical specialties. Registered Nurses will learn aspects of the theory and practices behind safe, holistic care in the anaesthetic and recovery phases of perioperative care. Registered Nurses will also develop skills in critically assessing and reflecting on changes in techniques and approaches, as well decision making and effective communication skills in the acute clinical setting. TPPP’s will be rostered Monday to Friday.

Scrub/Scout

The Perioperative program aims to provide the Registered Nurse with the opportunity to develop the skills and understand the concepts required to underpin their practice in the areas of scrub/scout nursing.

Participants will be involved in paediatric surgery, inclusive of a wide range of specialties, developing skills in critically assessing and reflecting on changes in techniques and approaches, as well decision making and effective communication skills in the acute clinical setting. TPPP’s will be rostered Monday to Friday.

Paediatric Outpatients Department

Paediatric Outpatients Department (POPD) is where all children – neonates to adolescents – attend appointments at the hospital across the spectrum of 60 different specialities in a clinical setting in both Medical and Surgical fields. The Nursing Team assists in the coordination of care and nursing interventions required for the individual patients with wound care, specialist tests and parental education. The skills developed in POPD include time management, team coordination, triage prioritisation as well decision making and effective communication skills with families, staff and the Medical/Surgical teams. Please note these positions are offered at 0.84FTE and can be negotiated within the Monday to Friday roster.

Division of Paediatric Medicine

The Division of Paediatric Medicine provides many dynamic learning opportunities for Graduate Nurses in the areas of General Medicine, Respiratory, Endocrine, Metabolic, Cardiac, Renal, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Haematology, Oncology, Rheumatology, Immunology, Dermatology and Child Protection.

Opportunities are provided to work in the following areas of the division:

  • Medical Short Stay Ward
  • Cassia Ward
  • Paediatric Emergency Department
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Adolescent Ward
  • Rose Ward
  • Michael Rice Haematology/Oncology Ward and Clinic
  • Medical Day Unit
Medical Short Stay Ward

Children (aged 0–18 years) admitted to Medical Short Stay Ward have an estimated length of stay <48 hours. Children are admitted under one of the medical teams including General Medicine, Neurology, Immunology, Child Protection, Dermatology, Respiratory, Cardiology, Endocrine, Renal, Metabolic and Gastroenterology. The most common admitting reasons are bronchiolitis, asthma, gastroenteritis, UTIs, seizures and pneumonia. However we also care for some special patients with chronic and complex conditions that require recurrent admissions.

Cassia Ward

Cassia Ward is a ward which cares for children aged 0-18 years. Children are admitted under the specialty and general medical teams and generally have a length of stay greater than 48 hours. Depending on their medical condition they may remain admitted to the ward for significant periods of time. The most common admitting diagnoses on Cassia ward include cystic fibrosis, diabetes, chronic gastrointestinal conditions, renal conditions and transplants, and chronic respiratory conditions.

Adolescent Ward

The Adolescent ward offers services to 12-18 year old patients in the many specialties of medical, orthopaedic, endocrine, neurology, rehabilitation, mental health and gastroenterology nursing. The staff work closely with the Department of Psychological Medicine and surgical services in the provision of care.

Rose Ward

Rose Ward is a specialised medical and surgical unit delivering care to neonates and infants to one year of age. Many of the infants have complex needs and require hospitalisation for many months. The family plays an integral part in the child's care and the complete needs of the family unit are taken into consideration. The range of conditions treated include infectious diseases, conditions affecting the respiratory, cardiac, neurological, gastrointestinal systems, congenital abnormalities, general surgery and many others. Nutrition, growth, development and infant mental health issues are also primary concerns of this unit.

Paediatric Emergency Department

The Paediatric Emergency Department provides a 24 hour service for children and young adolescents. The department covers all specialties including mental health services and is the Paediatric Trauma Centre for South Australia, Northern Territory, Western New South Wales and North-west Victoria. Nurses working in the area develop exceptional assessment skills and may have the opportunity to master skills including IV cannulation, trauma cast application and gluing of superficial wounds.

Paediatric Critical Care Medicine (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit)

The Paediatric Intensive Care unit (PICU) is a specialised area where children of all ages receive care from a highly skilled team of health professionals. Patients are admitted to intensive care and high dependency under a range of medical and surgical clinics. Nurses working in the area develop excellent assessment skills.

Nurses working in the Department of Critical Care Medicine will also be enrolled in the PICU Transition Course. This course incorporates 4 x 8 hour study days focusing on respiratory, cardiac, neurological and neonatal care and also offers an introductory Paediatric Life Support day.

Michael Rice Haematology / Oncology Ward and Clinic

Michael Rice Ward is an acute ward caring for oncology and haematology patients. The majority of patients are admitted for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis/treatment
  • Complications of malignancies or treatment
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Palliative care/respite
  • Pain management
  • Complications of haemophilia
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Other haematological conditions e.g. Thalassaemia.

The Michael Rice Clinic is a 9-bed outpatient clinic that cares for patients requiring planned and emergency review and/or treatment. Oncology patients may be admitted to the clinic as day patients for some phases of treatment. The clinic is staffed from 0830–1700, Monday to Friday and manages triage calls and admissions during these hours.

Medical Day Unit

The Medical Day Unit provides care for children and youth in the form of medical and diagnostic interventions and treatments, including:

  • intravenous (IV) antibiotics
  • blood transfusions and the administration of a variety of other specialty medications
  • allergy challenges
  • treatment under sedation
  • patient teaching and education.

This unit provides a service Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Mallee Ward

Mallee ward is a unit of the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. It is a 12-bed inpatient unit which provides a therapeutic environment in which children and young people up to the age of 18 years can be supported to work towards better mental health. The unit works in collaboration with a specialist multidisciplinary team that are experienced in supporting young people and their families. This is a state wide facility and provides a unique experience for graduates to work with experienced mental health nurses in this specialist area.

A placement in Mallee ward includes providing individual care to the patients, involvement in family therapy, group participation and collaborative liaison with various community services and schools. You will also become familiar with the numerous Acts and legislations that apply to this area.

Mallee ward also supports the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing for Registered Nurses seeking to become Registered Mental Health Nurses.

Women's and Babies Division (WABS) – Neonatal Services

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is responsible for the provision of care for babies in need of intensive (Level 6) care born at the WCH, or elsewhere in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Victoria and the far west of New South Wales. It can accommodate up to 16 neonates requiring respiratory support, central line management and continuous observation. Gestational ages range from 23 to 42 weeks. Post Graduate education programs are available for staff who return to work in NICU following their TPPP.

Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

SCBU is a Neonatal Unit (level 5) which provides care to sick and preterm infants. Generally infants born from 32 weeks gestation will be admitted to the unit, as well as those infants who require short term transitional care after birth. Infants may also be admitted to the unit from other hospitals, or readmitted from home.

The unit also provides care to infants needing Level 6 care – these infants may require non -invasive respiratory support, central line management and continuous observation.

Once infants no longer need specialised care they may be transferred to a hospital closer to home – MedSTAR Kids assists the unit with these inter-hospital transfers.

The unit provides an outreach follow up service for those infants who reside within the metropolitan area. SCBU also offers an early discharge program called The Neonatal Early Discharge (NED) program. This program enables some infants to be discharged home while still on gavage feeds, with the parents performing the gavage feeds and supported by regular home visits from the SCBU nursing / midwifery staff.

Post-graduate education programs supported by SCBU are the Neonatal Special Care Nursing Course, Refresher/Re-entry Midwives, Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Care Workers, Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). Enrolled Nurses are also employed in the unit, and many of the Registered Nurses / Midwives have post graduate qualifications in Neonatal Intensive or Special Care Nursing.

Child and Family Health Services (Community)

Child and Family Health Services (Community)

The Child and Family Health Service (CaFHS) is a Division of the Acute and Community Services Directorate of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network. CaFHS is a state-wide service and a critical part of South Australia’s child development system. CaFHS primary focus is to improve health, development and wellbeing outcomes for children from birth to five years of age, and to respond to the 20,000 births each year which includes an estimated 900 births to Aboriginal families.

As emerging CaFHS clinicians, TPPP nurses will apply the CaFHS core belief structure, being child and family focused, utilising a strengths approach and thinking holistically to work in partnership with parents and caregivers. Nurses will have the opportunity to focus on mastering independent health checks for children aged 18mths to 4yrs and newborn hearing assessment, through the support of working with wisdom workers and mentors. A placement at CaFHS will also include the ability to develop communication skills with parents and caregivers; and focus on the assessment of attachment and infant mental health through observation and supported health checks of children under 18mths.

This unit provides a service Monday – Friday, 8:30am to 5pm.

3D Health (Community)

The Women's and Children's Health Network's Disability Services offers four programs that support young people living with disability or complex health needs. Support is also provided to parents and carers, and community services.

Over the 6 months, the TPPP will work across the teams: HEI, Encompass and AAP.

Health Education Interface (HEI)

Health Education Interface (HEI) bring a Disability enhanced health focus to how education understands and responds to behaviours of concern for students with disability and complex health needs. HEI provides an assessment point for teachers of students with developmental disability and complex needs to understand which domains of physical social and emotional health contributes to the students’ behaviours of concern, and to guide the educators in how best to support the student to engage in learning. Interventions are collaboratively devised and implemented by the educational staff, with input from the HEI team and family providing support as required.

Encompass

Encompass is part of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network providing support to children and young people in the community. We are an NIDS Registered Provider and we also support clients who are not eligible for the scheme. Nurses perform a comprehensive health assessment, establish a model of care and develop an individual health plan/nursing care plan. The nurse then delivers specialised, individualised training, competency assessment and delegation for care workers to perform high-intensity daily personal activities such as

  • Enteral feeding (nasogastric, gastrostomy, PEG, PEJ, TPT etc)
  • Respiratory support - Oxygen administration, BiPAP/CPAP, mechanical ventilation, tracheostomy
  • Invasive continence support – catheterisation, colostomy etc
  • Complex seizure management

We support children and young people to access school, childcare, camps, community based social groups, OSHC, short term accommodation, out of home care. TPPP nurses will work with Clinical Nurses and Nurse Consultants to gain skills in assessment, health plan development, training and assessment of care workers and gain a greater understanding of NDIS and community supports for people with a disability/complex health.

Access Assistant Program (AAP)

The Access Assistant Program (AAP) provides trained staff to support children with complex health care needs and/or a disability in education setting. AAP staff support children in local government schools, catholic education schools and private schools. The program employs health support officers (HSO’s- unlicenced health support workers), Enrolled and Registered Nurses. AAP also employs a Medical Consultant who can support schools to provide care to children with complex health needs where information is lacking or health is variable.

TPPP nurses will be provided with upskilling in areas such as tracheostomy care, mechanical ventilation, complex seizure management, enteral feeding to provide support to 1:1 students in a school setting.

Disability Services is a Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm service.

Further information

Educational opportunities and ongoing career development

New Registered Nurses are provided with a comprehensive orientation to the organisation at the beginning of the program and to the clinical environments at the commencement of each clinical placement.

All TPPP participants will attend the Introduction to Paediatrics course which provides an overview of the fundamentals of Paediatric nursing. Participants will complete all modules and will be awarded a certificate of course completion. These study days are also complimented by unit specific education opportunities and other hospital activities.

Transition support “Chat Learn and Grow” sessions are held weekly. These opportunities allow participants to debrief with each other and develop reflection, and critical thinking skills combined with self-care strategies.

The WCHN TPPP RN is the first step in your ongoing Nursing career. During the year, you will be informed of the future career development opportunities available; education regarding career pathways will also be provided.

Clinical practice development and feedback

During the TPPP RM, clinical feedback, Performance Review and Development Plan and reflection opportunities are provided to each participant. This constructive feedback is utilised by individuals to identify goals and achievements and to identify ongoing learning objectives.

Working hours and starting dates

Contracts at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network will be offered as 0.84FTE – 4 days per week. All ward placements require participants to work over a 7 day roster on all shifts. (Nurses working in Peri-operative, Paediatric Outpatients Department, Medical Day Unit, CaFHS, and 3D Health will be rostered over a 5 day roster, Monday – Friday).

It is anticipated that positions will commence at the end of January and February.

Please note the proposed start dates when considering a program option - remember you MUST be registered BEFORE starting your TPPP contract.

Completion of program

A celebration ceremony is held each year for Registered Nurses who have completed their Transition to Professional Practice Program.

Applying for the program

Recruitment to 2025 SA Health Transition to Professional Practice Programs will be done via a centralised process. For more detailed information regarding the application process, please visit the SA Health Careers site (search for "RN TPPP 2025").

2025 Information Session

Our 2025 WCHN TPPP information session will be held on Thursday the 13th June 2024, 1.30 – 2.30pm, at the WCH, North Adelaide in the Queen Victoria Lecture Theatre, Level 1, Zone D and via MS Teams.

To register your attendance for the TPPP RN face to face and MS Teams Information session please follow the link below:

Contact

For further information about the Transition to Professional Practice Program for Registered Nurses at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, please contact: