Workforce Connections Provides Funding to Train New RN Graduates

October 28, 2014 - 14:05
New graduate nurses gain skills and confidence by working alongside experienced nurse mentors.

Today the Workforce Connections' Board of Directors approved $200,000 to fund participation for 66 newly graduated registered nurses in the GAP Training for RNs program, a 13-week pilot program which will develop new graduate knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competencies to increase employability and retention in the nursing profession. This program was developed in partnership between UNLV Continuing Education and the UNLV School of Nursing to offer real-world experience for newly-graduated nurses as they transition from school to professional practice.          

Despite high overall demand for nurses, RNs fresh out of school frequently find it difficult to land their first position. Job postings often ask applicants for several years of experience; new graduates are automatically eliminated from consideration. Some hospitals offer their own transitional training programs for new graduates, but applicants far outnumber openings. The GAP Training for RNs program was developed to give new nurses the opportunity to gain experience and demonstrate their skills while working alongside an experienced nurse mentor.

The GAP Training for RNs program will provide RNs with additional education, mentoring/coaching, and clinical experiences to improve competence, professional skills, and employability. The program incorporates:

  • Precepted clinical experiences (two 12-hour shifts per week at a local hospital)
  • Mentoring
  • Leadership coaching
  • Online learning activities focusing on quality and safety in professional practice
  • Hands-on training using simulation
  • Technical skills practice
  • Interviewing techniques and resume development

Due to Workforce Connections' funding, the training program will be completely free for new nurses who wish to enroll. To be eligible, a participant must be a Nevada resident and a licensed RN (ADN, BSN, and/or entry level Master’s) graduate of any nationally accredited academic nursing program within the previous 18 months who has yet to find employment. The program is also suitable for registered nurses seeking to return to acute care practice after having experienced an extended absence.

Local area hospitals partnering with the program are Sunrise Hospital, Dignity Health, and Nathan Adelson Hospice. The program benefits not only the nurses, but also participating hospitals which will see a significant decrease in the time and cost of hiring and training new nurses. The clinical sites selected for this training currently have open employment opportunities for which participants can apply. 

The funding from Workforce Connections will cover three cohorts of 22 students with the first cohort starting November 10, 2014. Interested participants should register and attend a free information session at UNLV to learn about program requirements and the application process.  Participants may register online at or call our registration desk at 702-895-3394.  Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about UNLV’s GAP Training for RNs program, please contact Jodi Gilliland at 702-895-3394 or