Section: News

20 RN’s Graduate from Sonoma State University’s Transition to Practice Program at Queen of the Valley Medical Center


(August 27, 2015—NAPA, Calif.) On Friday, August 21, approximately 20 students enrolled in the Sonoma State University (SSU) Transition into Practice Certificate program graduated at Queen of the Valley Medical Center (QVMC).

The SSU Transition into Practice Certificate Program is designed to facilitate the introduction of new graduates into clinical practice. Students are graduates from local schools of nursing, having earned either an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing (BSN).

“We do clinicals in our nursing program, but coming out as a new grad right now, in California, it’s really hard to get jobs as a new grad and get clinical experience,” said Molly Wiley, who earned her certificate from the program after working in the perinatal unit. “This gave me three months experience on my RN license that I can use and put on resumes and hopefully I can stay here and be a part of The Queen. It gave me a bridge, to not be sitting at home, waiting for something to come up, it put me into action.”

The students who completed the Transition into Practice Certificate Program at QVMC earned their Registered Nursing (RN) license or interim permit prior to starting the program. By completing the 10-week post-graduation extended preceptorship at a local hospital, they had the opportunity to work one-on-one with a supportive mentor and care for patients in a clinical setting.

“Being a new grad, it’s hard to imagine the floor and having a full load, [with this program] they get to truly experience what it’s like being on the floor,” said Esther Huezo, who was a preceptor in the Acute Rehabilitation Center. We treated her not as a student, but as a new employee. She had passed her boards already and was a full nurse. I think she got a lot out of it--organizational skills, prioritizing, time-management and the connection with families.”

The students enrolled in the program spent 204 clinical hours with their preceptor and earned 28 continuing education units (CEUs).

“I know there’s been a lot of articles about programs like this saying that grads should not have to pay for the experience, but this area—the bay area in general—is so compacted with new grads, especially the time we graduated in May,” said Stephanie Wilson who earned her certificate from the program. “There are 50 students in our class, and all of the schools around us are graduating at the same time and everyone is trying to get a job. We did this hoping for the best and to get a position and I think it’s going to work out.”

St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley is one of many hospitals in the area offering recent graduates the opportunity to participate in this certificate program. Queen of the Valley Medical Center has a long-standing collaborative partnership with local colleges and universities to provide these experiences to move the student nurse into practice as a new graduate.

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About Queen of the Valley Medical Center

Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 211-bed, acute-care facility founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. The Queen is the largest health care facility and one of the largest employers in Napa County. Services provided include a Regional Heart Center, a Regional Orthopedic Center, a Regional Cancer Center approved with commendations by the American College of Surgeons, the Peggy Herman Neuroscience Center, maternity and infant care, inpatient and outpatient minimally invasive surgery, and full-service emergency department, among many other specialty services. More information about Queen of the Valley Medical Center can be found at

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