Nursing Academy

Nicklaus Children's Hospital is committed to providing an environment that fosters nursing research, staff involvement, innovation and professional advancement all in an environment which supports teamwork, collegiality and holistic, interdisciplinary healthcare.

Upon entering the nursing profession at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, a customized program is tailored to meet your needs. The Nicklaus Children's Hospital Nursing Academy provides and supports an innovative transitional approach to prepare newly hired nurses for an excellent career in Pediatric Nursing. This program provides preceptor-led experiences, observational activities, and a structured process of didactic, clinical and behavioral experiences.


The program is comprised of six extraordinary components:


  1. Nursing Orientation:

    • 1 week of interactive instructor-led classes designed to create a foundation of learning in preparation for the unit-specific preceptor orientation.
    • Computer-skills lab, featuring in-depth hands on learning activities in a state of the art computer lab to expose the new RN to the technology on the units.
    • Tour of the facility and unit you will be working, to familiarize the yourself to the hospital.
    • Lunch with your leader to provide your unit specific orientation manual and schedule.
  2. Unit-Specific Preceptor Orientation

    • Preceptor led orientation on your specified unit. Length of unit orientation is dependent on the area and may consist of phases.
      • 3South, 3Northeast, 3East and 2East- approximately 6 weeks
      • 3North-  approximately 10 weeks
      • CICU and PICU-  approximately 12 weeks
      • NICU- phase 1- 12 weeks for level 1-2 neonates then a return to orientation after a time frame of practice for phase 2 focusing on level 3 neonates.
      • OR- Specialty specific orientation, allowing rotation through all OR specialties.
      • ED- Up to 12 weeks consisting of 10 weeks in the main ED plus 2 weeks of triage.
    • Guided experienced preceptor led hands on training during your orientation experience
    • Blended learning experiences with a web based educational curriculum to continue to build a strong pathophysiologic and clinical foundation.
    • Looping-rotation through a “sister” unit for exchange of clinical knowledge
  3. Mentorship

    • Mentors support and guide you through processes of the demands of the nursing profession in it’s day to day experiences through coaching. This guidance provides ongoing confidence building during transition to a proficient RN.
  4. Nursing Academy Week

    • Week long blended learning sessions (3 to 6 months after initial orientation)
      • Instructor-led, didactic and hands on lectures reinforcing concepts learned during the orientation process.
      • Skills sessions to allow for hands on experience and confidence building.
      • Virtual pediatric simulator lab experience allowing the new nurse to practice basic and life-threatening scenarios in a facilitator lead learning environment.
      • First session of the Nurse Support Group
  5. Nurse Support Group

    • Interactive quarterly meetings guided by trained psychologists
      • Opportunities to share experiences
      • Stress reduction strategies
      • Team building sessions
  6. Evidence Based Practice (EBP) Workshop

    • Full day course utilizing Turning Point audience participation technology under the guidance of the Director of Nursing Research.
    • Introduction to the principles and process of developing an evidence based practice project that is clinically relevant to best practices and outcomes. Sessions include-
      • Introduction: 411 to EBP
      • EBP Methodology and Process
      • Application
      • 1:1 interactive library session for topic and searching techniques guided by the Medical Librarian

 For more information, please contact Elena Ortega MSN, ARNP, CCRN.