A critical review of transition-to-professional-practice programs: Applying a standard model of evaluation

Peter Mellor, Carolyn Gregoric, Lucy M. Atkinson, Jennene A. Greenhill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Although transition-to-professional-practice programs (TPPPs) for newly graduated registered nurses are considered beneficial, no consensus exists about their ideal components. Thus, evaluating the effectiveness of TPPPs and identifying the components that strongly influence outcomes is important. 

Aim: The aim of this critical review was to demonstrate the usefulness of applying the Kirkpatrick model to evaluate the effectiveness of TPPPs. 

Methods: A review of the literature between 2010 and 2016 was conducted, and TPPPs were assessed using the Kirkpatrick model for evaluating educational outcomes. Additionally, all selected studies were analyzed for risk of bias in reporting results or inferences claimed as a consequence of new registered nurse participation in a TPPP. Risk of bias was designated as high, medium, or low. 

Results: The database search identified 86 studies, and 26 met the inclusion criteria for critical review. Through their analysis, the authors found that TPPPs are often evaluated by their respective organizations, not by an independent body. Therefore, most study findings reported that TPPPs achieve their aims, but the analysis revealed a high risk of bias in those findings. 

Conclusion: The Kirkpatrick model revealed a high risk of bias in the reporting of TPPP outcomes, indicating a need for evaluations based on rigorous research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nursing Regulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017


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