Transition to Practice Program for Registered Nurses

The Canberra Health Service Transition to Practice Program (TTPP) for Registered Nurses is a well established and highly successful program.

The program aims to provide newly graduated nurses with the opportunity to consolidate their knowledge and skills, develop clinical competence and establish themselves as professional Registered Nurses.


Applications for 2019 are now open.

Please go to the Application process tab


The Transition to Practice Program aims to:

  • Provide a structured framework to support the graduate nurse with transition into the workforce
  • Assist the graduate nurse to consolidate their professional practice as outlined in the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice (2016)
  • Support the graduate nurse to develop their skills and knowledge with experience in two clinical areas or as part of a specialised foundation program or stream

Key components

Key components of the Transition to Practice Program:

  • Two clinical rotations (2 x 6 months)
  • Diversity of rotations to clinical areas across ACT Health
  • Graduate intakes vary each year. In 2018, intakes will be in February, April, May, August and November
  • Three day ACT Health orientation program in addition to a TTPP orientation day
  • Extensive support network including dedicated Graduate Clinical Development Nurses (CDN) accessible all year round in addition to specialist Ward CDNs and preceptors
  •  A Transition to Practice Program Co-ordinator designated to provide leadership and support for the learning and development of all graduate nurses and the TTPP
  •  Scheduled fortnightly Graduate Education Sessions which may contribute to advance standing credit for post graduate study at the University of Canberra
  •  Completion of professional development activities as required by the Transition to Practice Program
  •  Certificate Ceremony at the end of the TTPP
  • The TTPP is supported by the Canberra Hospital and Health Services, Operational Procedure - Transition to Practice Program for Enrolled and Registered Nurses

Employee benefits

Employee benefits of the ACT Health Transition to Practice Program:

  •  7 weeks annual leave plus a paid ADO per month for full-time employees (on a rotating roster)
  • Salary packaging • Employee email account
  • Access to a large comprehensive library with access to biomedical data bases via the internet, available in your home
  • Free secure car parking on campus
  • Organised social club functions and activities • Access to free continuing education each year through in-service and the Staff Development Unit programs
Application Process

Canberra Health Services invites applications from Registered Nurses from both the ACT and Australia wide for its Transition to Practice program.

2018 recruitment

A recruitment information session will be held on Monday 18 June 2018, 2-3pm at Canberra Hospital, Building 5, level 2, Room 1A, Yamba Drive, Garran, ACT.

This session will include a short presentation and the opportunity to meet members of the graduate nurse team who will happily answer any of your questions. The Transition to Practice Program also conducts information sessions at the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University at times determined by these institutions.

Application requirements

Applications are now open and will close 5 July 2018.

Referee report for 2019 now available.

On the ACT Health Employment website you will be required to set up an individual profile and upload your application form and required attachments by the due date.

Applications must include your answers to the selection criteria (include examples), your Curriculum Vitae, a copy of your transcript (a copy of from your University website is acceptable), 2 x referee reports on the ACT Health TTPP template.

One referee report is required to be clinical and the other from your place of paid or volunteer employment. If not employed, then 2 x clinical references are acceptable.


Referee report 2019

Nursing graduates application guide

Application Form Graduate Registered Nurse

COMPLETE applications which have been electronically submitted via the ACT Health Employment website will be assessed in July/August 2018 and your referees contacted.

After assessing the application packages, successful applicants are invited to attend an Assessment Centre which involves a short interview and individual documentation exercise. The Skills Assessment Centre sessions will be held on September 10 and 11, 2018 at Canberra Hospital. You are required to attend 1 x half day session only.

If you have any questions please contact Deborah Moore at


Clinical Development Nurses

The TTPP Clinical Development Nurses (CDNs) work exclusively with the Transition to Practice Program to provide clinical support, education, feedback and assessment of competency related to the NMBA Registered Nurse Standards for Practice (2016).

The role of the Transition to Practice Program CDN is to:

  • Support your transition into the organisation and nursing workforce
  • Assist in identifying and facilitating your learning needs
  • Provide ‘hands on’ clinical support
  • Provide feedback on work performance
  • Enhance your professional development
  • Promote evidence based practice, and
  • Assess competence

Four dedicated CDNs support the Transition to Practice program at Canberra Hospital.

Most clinical areas throughout ACT Health have a CDN allocated to their team. These CDNs provide support to all staff in their respective clinical area and also assist new graduate nurses.

Clinical Placements

Note: Clinical placements are allocated based on organisational requirements, graduate preference and placement availability.

The ACT Health Transition to Practice Program recognises that everyone wants something different in their graduate year and for their career. We offer flexibility and choices with rotations to most departments and specialty areas. These areas include:

Division of Surgery and Oral Health

  • 10A General Surgery and Opthalmology
  • 9B Neurosurgical
  • 6B Urology, Vascular and Cardiothoracic
  • 5A Orthopaedics
  • 5B Plastic, Ear Nose & Throat, Maxillofacial and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Perioperative Nursing Services (encompassing Anaesthetics, Scrub/Scout, Post Anaesthetic Care Unit and Extended Day Surgery Unit)

Division of Medicine

  • 9A Gastroenterology Medical Ward
  • 6A Cardiology, Endocrinology, Respiratory and Rheumatology
  • 7A Stroke & Infectious Diseases
  • 7B General Medicine
  • 8B Renal and Acute General Medical ward
  • Coronary Care Unit
  • Cardiac Catheter Laboratory
  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology Unit (GEHU)
  • Hospital in the Home

Division of Women, Youth and Children

  • Paediatrics at the Canberra Hospital – Paediatrics, Adolescents, Outpatients & Day Stay
  • Centenary Hospital for Women & Children, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit & Special Care Nursery

Division of Cancer, Ambulatory and Community Health Support

  • Level 4 Day Therapy Unit
  • 14B Oncology Ward
  • 4A Oncology Ward
  • Radiation Oncology 
  • Haemotology
  • Outpatients Department

Division of Mental Health, Justice Health, Alcohol and Drug

  • Adult Mental Health Unit
  • Justice Health – Alexander Maconachie Centre
  • Alcohol and Drug Services
  • Brian Hennessy Rehabilitation Centre

Division of Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Care

  • 11A Acute Care for the Elderly
  • 11B Sub Acute Gerontology Unit (SAGU)
  • 12B Acute Rehabilitation
  • Community Nursing - South, Northside and City Community Centres

Division of Critical Care

  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Emergency Department
  • Acute Surgical Unit (ASU)

Clinical Support Services

  • Medical Imaging
Foundation Programs

We also provide opportunities for graduates to participate in dedicated foundation programs within Perioperative, Intensive Care and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. These specialised programs are conducted concurrently with the Transition to Practice program.

Once you have been offered a position in the TTPP, each specialty area offers a meet and greet to prospective candidates and selects graduate registered nurses to undertake their program. Some additional educational requirements are expected as part of these specialised programs.

Specialty streams are available in Mental Health (12 months in Mental Health placements).

Frequently Asked Questions

How many intakes do you offer?

Graduate intakes vary each year and are dependent on organisational need. In 2018, ACT Health welcomed intakes in February, April, May, August and November.

How many registered nurse positions are offered?

This varies each year depending on organisational need. In 2016/2017, the TTPP offered 90 contract positions across three intakes. 2018 numbers will be around 100.

When are applications for the 2019 intake open?

Applications are expected to open in Mid June 2018. Information regarding any future recruitment will be published on the 'Application Process' section of the TTPP website.

If I want to commence my Transition to Practice program (TTPP) in the mid year intakes, when do I have to apply?

If you wished to commence in any of the 2019 intakes, you must apply in June 2018. Information regarding our recruitment process can be found in the 'Application Process' section of the website from June 2018.

Are you able to do the TTPP in a part-time capacity?

Yes, you can work part-time. ACT Health is a family friendly organisation and supports work life balance. The minimum number of shifts you must work is 7 per fortnight to complete the program in 12 months. The choice is yours, many graduates elect to work 8 shifts per fortnight.

Do you provide an orientation program as part of the TTPP?

Yes, you participate in a three day ACT Health Orientation program in addition to a TTPP orientation/workshop day.

Do I have supernumerary time during my clinical placements?

In your initial clinical area you are given two supernumerary days and one day in your second six month placement. Graduates who undertake a foundation program receive an extended supernumerary period as determined by the specialty areas.

How many clinical rotations are there in the TTPP?

There will be two clinical rotations (2 x 6 months) in 2018. These clinical placements are selected based on ward availability, organisational need and your clinical preferences that are submitted at Open Day. Each graduate can expect to get at least 1 x 6 month rotation in an area of preference.

What kind of professional development is available as part of the TTPP?

In addition to the scheduled fortnightly graduate education sessions, you have access to free continuing education each year through ward in-services and the Staff Development Unit programs. Graduates are also able to apply to the Nursing and Midwifery Office postgraduate scholarship scheme if undertaking postgraduate education after the graduate year.

What clinical support is provided to me during my graduate year?

Clinical Development Nurses work exclusively with the Transition to Practice Program to provide clinical support, education, feedback and assessment of competency related to the Standards of Practice for the Registered Nurse (2016). TTPP CDNs are accessible 364 days a year from 8am-8pm*. Most clinical areas also have a specialised CDN available to assist new staff working in that clinical area. Most areas also allocate preceptors.
* excluding Christmas Day

How do I apply?

ACT Health invites applications from Registered Nurses for its Transition to Practice Program in June each year. Applications for 2019 are expected to open in mid June. Information regarding this recruitment process will be advertised on the ACT Health employment website.

When will the interview process take place?

Successful applicants are invited to participate in a Skills Assessment Centre, which includes a short interview and individual documentation exercise. The Skills Assessment Centre will take place September 10 & 11, 2018. You will be invited to attend 1x half day session.

When will I know if I have been offered a position at Canberra Hospital?

Successful applicants will be notified approximately 4-5 weeks after completing the Assessment Centre.

When do I submit preferences for my clinical placements during the TTPP?

Requests for clinical placements are submitted after you have accepted your offer of employment from ACT Health. You will be invited to attend Open Day on November 15, 2018 to submit your preferences.

What happens to my clinical placements if I am unsuccessful in obtaining a Foundation Program position?

In addition to selecting Foundation program requests, it is recommended that you include other area requests as well. If you do not advise us of your clinical requests your placements will be allocated according to organisation need and ward availability.

If am unsuccessful at gaining a specialty Foundation position, am I still able to do a clinical rotation to this area during my TTPP?

Placements are not available for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/Centre for Newborn Care outside of the foundation program. In 2018, 6 month placements were offered in Perioperative in the specialty of PACU and EDSU as well as the foundation program (12 months in Perioperative).

Open Day

Open Day is designed to showcase the diversity of clinical placement opportunities available within ACT Health. We invite prospective Registered and Enrolled Nurses to visit our interactive ward displays and consider the clinical placements we have on offer as part of the Transition to Practice Program

Event information

  • Open Day for the 2019 Transition to Practice Program will be held on November 15, 2018 from 9.30am-12.00pm
  • Open Day is held in the Staff Development unit (Room 1A, Building 5) on the Canberra Hospital campus in Garran, ACT
  • Questions from prospective graduates regarding clinical areas can be directed to the Transition to Practice Co-ordinator on 5124 7057 or the Clinical Development Nurse Office on (02) 5124 4113

    February 2017-2018 Graduate

    • 'An extremely supportive program'
    • 'The program has given me a good basis to now build on my nursing career'
    • 'I felt there was the right amount of being allowed to find your own feet and help from the program staff.  We were not babied but we were definitely not left on our own'

    February 2015-2016 Graduate

    • "Everything that I achieved this year, I can’t imagine doing without the support of the TTPP Team".

    February 2014-2015 Graduate

    • "The CDNs were there every single shift for me if I needed them. Only just a page away. Extra education sessions was beyond my expectations".
    •  "It was amazing completing it!!! Being a part of it!! Just so thankful that I was given the opportunity to be employed by TCH and being so wonderfully supported by the whole graduate team".
    What Next - After the Transition to Practice Program?

    Transition to Practice employment positions are currently offered on a contract basis. At the end of your contract period, graduates must apply for permanent/contract positions within ACT Health. The availability of positions will be determined by organisational need at the time of application.

    ACT Health is committed to the ongoing learning and development of nursing staff. We have strong associations with the University of Canberra and Australian Catholic University who offer a variety of post graduate study options. ACT Health supports nurses with post graduate study through a generous scholarship scheme.

    Page last updated on: 15 Nov 2018