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Information last updated 17 November 2022
The Women's and Children's Hospital is located on the traditional lands for the Kaurna people, and we respect their spiritual relationship with their Country. We also acknowledge that the Kaurna people are the custodians of the Adelaide region, and that their cultural and heritage beliefs are still as important to the living Kaurna people today.

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Transition To Professional Practice Program for Registered Nurses 2023

The Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) at the WCH provides new Registered Nurses with an opportunity to gain experience, knowledge and clinical skills as they take their first steps in Paediatric Nursing.

Take your first steps in Paediatric Nursing with us!

The Women's and Children's Health Network is South Australia’s leading provider of health services to babies, children, young people and women. The Women's and Children's Hospital provides specialist health care services to children and young people with acute and chronic conditions. The hospital also provides the state's largest neonatal, maternity and obstetric service.

The Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital provides the newly Registered Nurse with an opportunity to gain Paediatric experience, knowledge and clinical skills as they take their first steps in Paediatric Nursing.

Our Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP RN) curriculum aims to facilitate a learning environment which empowers transitioning staff to:

  • Navigate the workplace and professional culture
  • Practice as confident and competent professionals within their specialised field
  • Work as part of an effective inter-professional team
  • Identify and celebrate the unique skills, knowledge and experiences each individual brings.

To achieve this, transition support at the WCH:

  • Recognises and acknowledges the Stages of Transition© (Boychuk Duchscher 2007)
  • Recognises and acknowledges the reality of Transition Shock© (BD 2007)
  • Recognises and utilises the unique learning styles, personality types and character strengths of each individual
  • Formulates learning activities which incorporate critical thinking, evidence-informed practice, reflection and simulation targeted at individual and group learning needs
  • Ensures constructive and timely feedback is provided to support transitioning staff
  • Equips teams with the skills and knowledge to support transitioning staff and individuals within these teams undertake support roles
  • Empowers the individual to develop self-care strategies to achieve an effective work/life blend during their TPPP and beyond.

Feedback from previous participants

I have progressed through all the stages (of Transition), from not even knowing the routine of the ward and just seeing the next step through to feeling like I have worked on the ward for a very long time and now feel at ease.


My confidence has increased dramatically through experience and supervision from specialist staff. Both (placements) were extremely supportive working environments, facilitating growth and self-confidence through constant feedback. I felt comfortable asking questions without feeling 'silly'.


I feel the TPPP at WCH assisted in taking away the initial fear of starting as an RN from University, then the ongoing support throughout the year aided in my progression.


Amazing program and I feel so lucky to have been given the opportunity to work with such amazing and passionate nurses.


The support and guidance from ward educators has been invaluable and their assistance combined with experience and knowledge has helped to increase my confidence.


Fantastic program that provides amazing support and educational opportunities. Although the year has provided me with many challenges I feel that the program has allowed me to progress at a pace suited to me so that the challenges could be overcome. The program has made me feel like a valued member of the team. I would recommend the program to any new nurses.


Transition support and program details

All Registered Nurses participating in the TPPP RN are provided with comprehensive support from a variety of skilled staff, including:

  • Ward-based clinical educators
  • Preceptors and Post-Graduate Buddies (previous TPPP RNs)
  • Nurse/Midwife Unit Managers/Advanced Nurse Unit Managers
  • Nurse Managers
  • Transition Support Nurse Educator: Nursing and Midwifery

Each TPPP position at the Women's and Children's Hospital provides newly registered Nurses with:

  • Transition support from the Transition Team, including 1:1 coaching
  • Orientation to the organisation and clinical areas
  • Extended support during orientation as part of the SMaRTE2 Start Program
  • Clinical placement experiences including ward-based education and support from clinical educators
  • Clinical feedback throughout each placement from senior staff
  • Participation in the Introduction to Paediatrics modules (Professional Development Days) and workshops
  • Weekly Chat, Learn and Grow debriefs with the Transition Support Nurse Educator and Transition Support News emails
  • Access to additional learning resources and educational opportunities throughout the year.

Clinical placement opportunities

Various program options may be available in 2023, including:

  • Paediatric Nursing Stream (2 x 6 month clinical placements in diverse ward/unit areas)
    • The Paediatric Nursing Stream will provide newly Registered Nurses with a comprehensive Paediatric experience during their first year of practice. Two placements will be offered within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
  • Paediatric / Helen Mayo House (Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services) Collaborative Nursing Stream (1 x 6 month clinical placement at Helen Mayo House and 1 x 6 month clinical placement in a paediatric ward/unit at the WCH)
    • This Collaborative Stream provides a unique opportunity for transitioning Nurses who have an interest in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Nursing to undertake a placement at Helen Mayo House (located on the Glenside Health Services Canvas on Fullarton Road, Glenside) combined with another 6 month placement in a paediatric ward / unit at the WCH campus. Please see ‘Clinical Placement Opportunities’ below for more information about these areas.

Clinical placements are conducted in the medical and surgical wards and various specialty areas, allowing the newly registered nurse to develop a wide range of professional and paediatric nursing skills. Successful applicants will be asked for their preferences prior to commencing their contracts. Placements in 2022 are dependent on service needs and may include:

  • Surgical Inpatient Units: Newland, Kate Hill, Surgical Short Stay Unit
  • Perioperative Services (Recovery or Operating Suite)
  • Medical Wards: Cassia and Medical Short Stay Ward
  • Adolescent Ward
  • Rose Ward (Babies under 12 months)
  • Paediatric Emergency Department
  • Paediatric Intensive Care and Paediatric High Dependency Unit
  • Oncology/Haematology; Michael Rice Ward and Clinic
  • Mental Health: Mallee Ward
  • Medical Day Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Special Care Baby Unit
  • Helen Mayo House (Collaborative Program)

Positions will be offered at 0.84FTE or full time in some areas.

See below for more details of each placement option.

Paediatric Surgical Services

Paediatric Surgical Services provides many dynamic learning opportunities for Registered Nurses in the areas of orthopaedics, burns, neurosurgery, craniofacial, ophthalmology, ENT (ear, nose and throat), urology, plastic, thoracic, minor cardiac and general surgery and includes the following wards/units:

  • Newland Ward
  • Kate Hill Ward
  • Surgical Short Stay Unit (SSSU)
    • Day of Surgery Admissions (DOSA)
    • Day Surgery Unit
    • Campbell Ward
  • Perioperative Services
Newland Ward

Newland ward is a 16-bed ward and is one of the main paediatric surgical wards for South Australia. Newland ward provides expert care to patients and families after surgery or trauma. Newland ward cares for patients from various surgical specialties and provides Registered Nurses with many fulfilling learning experiences and exposure to a wide variety of skills. Newland ward surgical specialties include burns, plastic surgery, urology, general surgery and thoracic surgery. In the team trained environment, Nurses are supported by a buddy each shift. Two preceptors are also allocated at the commencement of each placement.

Kate Hill Ward

Kate Hill Ward is a 16-bed ward and is one of the main paediatric surgical wards for South Australia. Kate Hill ward provides expert care to patients and families admitted under the surgical specialties of Neurosurgery, craniofacial surgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, ENT (ear, nose and throat) and rehabilitation services. Kate Hill ward provides Registered Nurses with the essential skills of paediatric neurological assessment and associated nursing care. Nurses are supported by a buddy each shift. Two preceptors are also allocated at the commencement of each placement.

Surgical Short Stay Unit (SSSU)

This area comprises 3 clinical areas of Day of Surgery Admissions (DOSA), Day Surgery (DS) and Campbell Ward. Nurses working in the SSSU will experience each area throughout their 6 month placement.

Day of Surgery Admissions Area (DOSA)

  • Pre-operative area where children are prepared for their elective surgical/medical intervention.
  • Children and families go through an admission process that allows them to ask questions and clarify concerns before their procedure starts.
  • As DOSA is often the first point of contact to the hospital for many families it is essential to have refined communication skills. DOSA also provides Registered Nurses with the opportunity to improve their handover, assessment and communication skills.

Paediatric Day Surgery Unit (DS)

  • This unit has 20 beds which cater for paediatric patients undergoing day surgery procedures under anaesthetic. The average length of stay is 1-2 hours.
  • There is a high turnover of patients which allows graduate nurses to refine their organisation and observation skills and discharge education proficiency.
  • Nurses will also have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills when participating in the weekly Burns clinic.

Campbell Ward

  • Campbell Ward has 16 beds and is dedicated to the care of paediatric patients who have undergone procedures requiring anaesthesia followed by a short stay in hospital of up to 36 hours. Campbell ward is team trained and provides Registered Nurses with support and learning opportunities in many areas of paediatric surgical nursing.
  • Excellent admission and discharge skills are obtained in this placement as there is a high turnover of patients.
Perioperative Services


In a Recovery rotation in Rogerson and QVOS Theatres, Registered Nurses will be involved in both paediatric and obstetric fields, inclusive of a wide range of surgical specialties. Registered Nurses will learn aspects of the theory and practices behind safe, holistic care in the anaesthetic and recovery phases of perioperative care. Registered Nurses will also develop skills in critically assessing and reflecting on changes in techniques and approaches, as well decision making and effective communication skills in the acute clinical setting. Please note these positions are offered at 1.0FTE working Monday to Friday.


The Perioperative program aims to provide the Registered Nurse with the opportunity to develop the skills and understand the concepts required to underpin their practice in the areas of scrub/scout nursing.

Participants will be involved in paediatric surgery, inclusive of a wide range of specialties, developing skills in critically assessing and reflecting on changes in techniques and approaches, as well decision making and effective communication skills in the acute clinical setting. Please note these positions are offered at 1.0FTE working Monday to Friday.

Division of Paediatric Medicine

The Division of Paediatric Medicine provides many dynamic learning opportunities for Graduate Nurses in the areas of General Medicine, Respiratory, Endocrine, Metabolic, Cardiac, Renal, Gastroenterology, Neurology, Haematology, Oncology, Rheumatology, Immunology, Dermatology and Child Protection.

Opportunities are provided to work in the following areas of the division:

  • Medical Short Stay Ward
  • Cassia Ward
  • Paediatric Emergency Department
  • Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
  • Adolescent Ward
  • Rose Ward
  • Michael Rice Haematology/Oncology Ward and Clinic
  • Medical Day Unit
Medical Short Stay Ward

Children (aged 0–18 years) admitted to Medical Short Stay Ward have an estimated length of stay <48 hours. Children are admitted under one of the medical teams including General Medicine, Neurology, Immunology, Child Protection, Dermatology, Respiratory, Cardiology, Endocrine, Renal, Metabolic and Gastroenterology. The most common admitting reasons are bronchiolitis, asthma, gastroenteritis, UTIs, seizures and pneumonia. However we also care for some special patients with chronic and complex conditions that require recurrent admissions.

Cassia Ward

Cassia Ward is a ward which cares for children aged 0-18 years. Children are admitted under the specialty and general medical teams and generally have a length of stay greater than 48 hours. Depending on their medical condition they may remain admitted to the ward for significant periods of time. The most common admitting diagnoses on Cassia ward include cystic fibrosis, diabetes, chronic gastrointestinal conditions, renal conditions and transplants, and chronic respiratory conditions.

Adolescent Ward

The Adolescent ward offers services to 12-18 year old patients in the many specialties of medical, orthopaedic, endocrine, neurology, rehabilitation and gastroenterology nursing. Although primarily a medical ward, the staff work closely with the Department of Psychological Medicine and surgical services in the provision of care.

Rose Ward

Rose Ward is a specialised medical and surgical unit delivering care to neonates and infants to one year of age. Many of the infants have complex needs and require hospitalisation for many months. The family plays an integral part in the child's care and the complete needs of the family unit are taken into consideration. The range of conditions treated include infectious diseases, conditions affecting the respiratory, cardiac, neurological, gastrointestinal systems, congenital abnormalities, general surgery and many others. Nutrition, growth, development and infant mental health issues are also primary concerns of this unit.

Paediatric Emergency Department

The Paediatric Emergency Department provides a 24 hour service for children and young adolescents. The department covers all specialties including mental health services and is the Paediatric Trauma Centre for South Australia, Northern Territory, Western New South Wales and North-west Victoria. Nurses working in the area develop exceptional assessment skills and may have the opportunity to master skills including IV cannulation, trauma cast application and gluing of superficial wounds.

Paediatric Critical Care Medicine (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit)

The Paediatric Intensive Care unit (PICU) is a specialised area where children of all ages receive care from a highly skilled team of health professionals. Patients are admitted to intensive care and high dependency under a range of medical and surgical clinics. Nurses working in the area develop excellent assessment skills.

Nurses working in the Department of Critical Care Medicine will also be enrolled in the PICU Transition Course. This course incorporates 4 x 8 hour study days focusing on respiratory, cardiac, neurological and neonatal care and also offers an introductory Paediatric Life Support day.

Michael Rice Haematology / Oncology Ward and Clinic

Michael Rice Ward is an acute ward caring for oncology and haematology patients. The majority of patients are admitted for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis/treatment
  • Complications of malignancies or treatment
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Palliative care/respite
  • Pain management
  • Complications of haemophilia
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia (ITP)
  • Other haematological conditions e.g. Thalassaemia.

The Michael Rice Clinic is a 9-bed outpatient clinic that cares for patients requiring planned and emergency review and/or treatment. Oncology patients may be admitted to the clinic as day patients for some phases of treatment. The clinic is staffed from 0830–1700, Monday to Friday and manages triage calls and admissions during these hours.

Medical Day Unit

The Medical Day Unit provides care for children and youth in the form of medical and diagnostic interventions and treatments, including:

  • intravenous (IV) antibiotics
  • blood transfusions and the administration of a variety of other specialty medications
  • allergy challenges
  • treatment under sedation
  • patient teaching and education.

This unit provides a service Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Mallee Ward

Mallee ward is a unit of the Division of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. It is a 12-bed inpatient unit which provides a therapeutic environment in which children and young people up to the age of 18 years can be supported to work towards better mental health. The unit works in collaboration with a specialist multidisciplinary team that are experienced in supporting young people and their families. This is a state wide facility and provides a unique experience for graduates to work with experienced mental health nurses in this specialist area.

A placement in Mallee ward includes providing individual care to the patients, involvement in family therapy, group participation and collaborative liaison with various community services and schools. You will also become familiar with the numerous Acts and legislations that apply to this area.

Mallee ward also supports the Graduate Diploma of Mental Health Nursing for Registered Nurses seeking to become Registered Mental Health Nurses.

Helen Mayo House (Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services)

Helen Mayo House is a Division of CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) located on the Glenside Health Services Campus on Fullarton Road, Glenside. Registered Nurses will work within a close and supportive multidisciplinary team to provide care to mothers and their infants up to 12 months of age (with some exceptions to admit mothers and their infant up to 2 years old). At Helen Mayo House you will provide direct care to mothers who have been identified as having significant mental health problems requiring treatment such as severe depression, anxiety, mood disorders, personality disorders or psychotic illnesses that impairs the mother’s ability to function in everyday life and care for their child.

Women's and Babies Division (WABS)

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is responsible for the provision of care for babies in need of intensive (Level 6) care born at the WCH, or elsewhere in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Victoria and the far west of New South Wales. It can accommodate up to 16 neonates requiring respiratory support, central line management and continuous observation. Gestational ages range from 23 to 42 weeks. Post Graduate education programs are available for staff who return to work in NICU following their TPPP.

Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU)

SCBU is a Neonatal Unit (level 5) which provides care to sick and preterm infants. Generally infants born from 32 weeks gestation will be admitted to the unit, as well as those infants who require short term transitional care after birth. Infants may also be admitted to the unit from other hospitals, or readmitted from home.

The unit also provides care to infants needing Level 6 care – these infants may require non -invasive respiratory support, central line management and continuous observation.

Once infants no longer need specialised care they may be transferred to a hospital closer to home – MedSTAR Kids assists the unit with these inter-hospital transfers.

The unit provides an outreach follow up service for those infants who reside within the metropolitan area. SCBU also offers an early discharge program called The Neonatal Early Discharge (NED) program. This program enables some infants to be discharged home while still on gavage feeds, with the parents performing the gavage feeds and supported by regular home visits from the SCBU nursing / midwifery staff.

Post-graduate education programs supported by SCBU are the Neonatal Special Care Nursing Course, Refresher/Re-entry Midwives, Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Care Workers, Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP). Enrolled Nurses are also employed in the unit, and many of the Registered Nurses / Midwives have post graduate qualifications in Neonatal Intensive or Special Care Nursing.

Further information

Educational opportunities and ongoing career development

New Registered Nurses are provided with a comprehensive orientation to the organisation at the beginning of the program and to the clinical environments at the commencement of each clinical placement.

All TPPP participants will attend the Introduction to Paediatrics course which provides an overview of the fundamentals of Paediatric nursing. Participants will complete all modules and will be awarded a certificate of course completion. These study days are also complimented by unit specific education opportunities and other hospital activities.

Transition support “Chat Learn and Grow” sessions are held weekly. These opportunities allow participants to debrief with each other and develop reflection, and critical thinking skills combined with self-care strategies.

The WCHN TPPP RN is the first step in your ongoing Nursing career. During the year, you will be informed of the future career development opportunities available; education regarding career pathways will also be provided.

Clinical practice development and feedback

During the TPPP RN, clinical feedback and reflection opportunities are provided to each participant. This constructive feedback is utilised by individuals to identify achievements and to identify ongoing learning objectives.

Working hours and starting dates

Contracts at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be offered as 0.84FTE – 4 days per week or 1.0FTE in some units. All ward placements require participants to work over a 7 day roster on all shifts. (Nurses completing a theatre placement will work all shifts over a 5 day roster).

It is anticipated that positions will commence at the end of January and February 2023 (please note these are subject to final confirmation).

Please note the proposed start dates when considering a program option - remember you MUST be registered BEFORE starting your TPPP contract.

Completion of program

A celebration ceremony is held each year for Registered Nurses who have completed their Transition to Professional Practice Program.

Applying for the program

Recruitment to 2023 SA Health Transition to Professional Practice Programs will be done via a centralised process. For more detailed information regarding the application process, please visit the SA Health Careers site and search for 'RN TPPP 2023'.

2023 Information Session

The 2023 Information session was held on 7 June 2022. The session was recorded and can be accessed below.


For further information about the Transition to Professional Practice Program for Registered Nurses at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, please contact:

Renee Whiteman or Sally-Anne Haskard – Acting Transition Support Educators