Children’s Hospital OC

Our RN Residency Program is a 16 month program that is specifically customized to meet the requirements of the new nursing graduate to be successfully transitioned to becoming a professional pediatric nurse.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Registered Nurse with less than 6 months acute care nursing experience.
  • Education
    • Required: Graduation from an accredited school of Registered Nursing; Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) required for external hires, preferred for internal transfers. Internal transfers only (current CHOC employees): Associate of Science in Nursing from an approved school is acceptable with BSN in-progress (BSN degree must be obtained within 6 months of graduating the program).
  • Licensure
    • Registered Nurse – CA (RN) License
    • Basic Life Support (BLS)
    • Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) 
    • ACLS for PICU, CVICU, ED, Main OR, Recovery Room and Procedure Center
    • NRP for NICU

Upon graduation the RN Resident will have successfully accomplished the following:

  • Deliver safe, independent timely nursing care and practice according to the Nurse Practice Act, Patient and Family Centered Care and CHOC’s policies, procedures and standards of care.
  • Role model CHOC’s Mission, Values, Vision, Strategic Goals, Care Model and Nursing Philosophy.
  • Advocate for patient, patient’s family and self.
  • Integrate theoretical knowledge and past situations with clinical experiences to build upon knowledge base.
  • Participate in new opportunities at CHOC to grow both professionally and clinically.
  • Build a network of professional relationships.
  • Exemplify the leadership skills  gained through the RN Residency Program by pursuing leadership and professional opportunities at CHOC and the nursing profession as a whole.

The following components are in place to assist the RN Resident in successfully completing the RN Residency:


One-on-one, hands-on clinical preceptorship with CHOC nurses on the resident’s home unit.

Pediatric Curriculum

The programs provide a pediatric didactic curriculum that covers all aspects of pediatric nursing. The classes are taught by subject matter experts and provide information that is both current and relevant to the resident’s clinical experience. Presentations incorporate family-centered care, skills lab, critical thinking, case studies, evidenced-based practice, assessments, leadership, professionalism and nursing excellence. A variety of teaching methods stimulates the resident to take ownership of their learning and become active participants.  This environment creates the start of lifelong learning.

Mentor Program

The role of the mentor is non-evaluative and separate from that of the preceptor and reflection facilitator. He or she is a supportive person in times of stress and doubt but also provides guidance in the resident’s professional career. They offer expert assistance and support throughout the Program.

“Bear All” Groups

The purpose is to allow the resident an opportunity to express thoughts, feelings and emotions about their experiences during the program in a safe and non-judgmental environment. These experiences include working with a sick child, collaborating with families, taking care of a dying child, and resolving conflicts.


Looping provides the resident with an opportunity to gain a better understanding of what a patient from their unit experiences from admission, discharge and follow-up. From observations, participation and completions of objectives, the resident gains a “global view” of CHOC. The resident sees how these areas relate to their scope of practice and are able to meet associates outside of their home unit.


The resident is routinely provided with feedback on his/her progress within the program, which is used to assess his/her educational needs and to customize their experience. The Education department routinely collects feedback from the Residents, directors, managers, clinical nurse specialists, unit educators, preceptors and mentors regarding all aspects of the program to further develop and continue the program’s success.