Developing Our Nurses

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Developing our Nurses at Niagara Health


Niagara Health is committed to the professional growth of its nursing workforce through:

Nursing Orientation

Niagara Health offers a comprehensive orientation program that includes:

1. General orientation which introduces new staff to foundational education topics such as:

  • Overview of Niagara Health
  • Quality, Risk Management and Patient Safety
  • Privacy, Confidentiality, FIPPA
  • Communications
  • Infection Prevention and Control
  • Workplace Relations
  • Health and Safety/WHMIS
  • Interprofessional/Patient-Centred Care

2. Interprofessional orientation, which introduces new staff to:

  • The integrated model of Interprofessional Practice and Patient Client Centred Care
  • Professional Branding
  • Interprofessional Competencies
  • Quality Improvement Plan
  • Consent and Capacity
  • Communication
  • Interprofessional Documentation Standards

3. More in depth orientation is then organized within clinical programs and patient care units to:

  • Familiarize new staff with policies/procedures, interdisciplinary team members, protocols, equipment and other unique unique/program requirements
  • Support the individual in developing required knowledge and skill in providing care within the specific care area

Unit orientation will vary depending on the program. The majority of units/programs offer a minimum of one week of orientation that is supported with a preceptorship. However, in areas with advanced skill requirements, the orientation period is longer.

Niagara Health is also committed to succession planning within our organization.  The Critical Care Internship is a three month in-house program run to provide class room and hands-on training to our nurse in order to receive their Critical Care certification.

Conferences & Education Events

New staff are encouraged to take advantage of all unit/program specific and corporate education events that happen on a regular basis. At the unit/program level, educational in-services, lunch and learns, and guest presentations are organized and information regarding these are circulated regularly through e-mail flyers or by the unit/program educators. These events are typically up to one hour in duration to encourage participation from staff who are working on shift and may not be able to get away from assigned duties for a longer period.

E-learning modules are also offered and are typically used for staff to meet mandatory educational requirements on an annual basis. These modules can be completed on the unit and completion is electronically registered to track compliance with initiatives.

Niagara Health also hosts larger events, for example, the Canadian Association of Nephrology Nurses and Technologists in 2014. This annual event is one of the most highly regarded events of its kind in Canada and it is very prestigious to be selected as a host site.

Nursing Graduate Guarantee Initiative

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) Nursing Graduate Guarantee Initiative provides new graduates with opportunities for:

  • An extended orientation period
  • Engaging in a preceptor relationship with an experienced nurse in the chosen area of clinical practice
  • Acquiring new clinical knowledge and skills

Niagara Health has ongoing New Graduate Guarantee positions available for eligible new hires to the organization. Niagara Health acknowledges the value of this initiative in supporting new graduate nurses in obtaining the knowledge, skill, and competencies required to successfully transition into independent practice within the healthcare environment. 

Late Career Nurse Initiative

The Late Career Nurse Initiative (LCNI) is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to create opportunities for nurses aged 55 and older, to take on less physically demanding roles and engage in activities that utilize their expertise and knowledge. Niagara Health has LCNI positions available on an annual basis. The organization recognizes the importance of this initiative in providing opportunities for late career nurses to contribute to improving patient care and the quality of the work environment. 

Clinical Practice Fellowships

Clinical Practice Fellowships are funded through the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) to support nurses in developing and promoting nursing knowledge and expertise, and improving client care and outcomes in Ontario. The program consists of 450 hours and an application and approval process is required. Niagara Health supports its nurses in identifying proposal opportunities in their chosen area of practice. Information is available through: Clinical Practice Fellowships RN

Best Practice Champions

As a Best Practice Spotlight Organization (BPSO), Niagara Health provides its nurses with opportunities to participate in Best Practice Champion workshops. These workshops are one to two day sessions that are designed to provide nurses with tools and strategies to champion the implementation of best practice guidelines. The benefits of becoming a best practice champion also include the connections and resources that are available following participation such as:

  • E-bulletins
  • Newsletters
  • Social networking
  • Regular knowledge sharing teleconferences and webinars
  • Additional workshops and seminars on relevant topics
  • Funding opportunities to support further education and networking

Canadian Nurses Association Certification

Niagara Health supports eligible registered nurses (RNs) in pursuing Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) certification in their specialty area of practice. This certification demonstrates that you possess a comprehensive understanding and advanced standard of professional competence in your nursing specialty.

Nursing Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Eligible nurses at Niagara Health have access to financial assistance for professional development and education in the form of the Robertson Education Bursary.


Interested in a career in nursing at Niagara Health?

Careers At NHS

Nursing Information

Specialty Nursing & Diverse Roles Developing Our Nurses Balancing Work and Home Life

Niagara Health System