Preparing to Transition to Nurse Practitioner Practice

EKU Online > Preparing to Transition to Nurse Practitioner Practice

By Molly J. Bradshaw, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, WHNP-BC

The transition from RN to nurse practitioner (NP) can be challenging and exciting. Practice is complex, even when NP programs provide the best preparation possible. Across the country there is outcry to better support NPs in their first year of practice.

Dr. Molly Bradshaw

There has been an increase in the development of NP residency and NP fellowship programs to address this challenge. Evidence to date asserts that this is a good idea. Programs foster higher rates of NP retention and satisfaction (Barnes, 2015). However, accessing and participating in these programs can be challenging, especially in rural areas.

Eastern Kentucky University wants to support nurse practitioners and become their partner in NP practice transition. In Fall 2020, we will be offering a unique series of courses as part of the EKU Nurse Practitioner Transition Program. This is a pilot program, designed for recent NP graduates who are just starting their first year of practice or returning to practice. Credit earned can later be applied to the EKU Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. 

Our program is based on Patricia Benners’ Theory of Novice to Expert. The courses consist of a series of three sequential, 1 credit hour courses. Each course lasts 8 weeks and has been specifically designed to support you in your NP role transition. You will show up once each week online to meet with your peers and faculty. You will have an opportunity to ask your questions in a safe and supportive environment.

Simple strategies and tips will be shared every week via podcast, video, and other mediums. Best of all, in each course, you will get to have an individual meeting with the faculty member to help with your personal goals.

Participants will complete a short survey every month and keep a reflective journal. Our coursework will be simple and practical with no tests or graded assignments. These are focused courses designed to provide the guidance and support you need to succeed as a nurse practitioner.

Questions? Contact Halie at Halie.Sissle@eku.eduor 859-622-2517 or register for our virtual open house.


Barnes, H. (2015). Exploring the Factors that Influence Nurse Practitioner Role Transition. Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2015 February; 11(2): 178–183. doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2014.11.004.

About the Author

Dr. Molly J. Bradshaw is an experienced NP faculty member with proven ability to relate to students. They praise her practical assignments, ability to explain complex ideas clearly, and general passion to help NPs thrive. She is an associate professor at EKU and coordinator of the university’s DNP program.

Dr. Bradshaw is a nurse practitioner nationally board certified in family and women’s health. She maintains an active clinical practice at First Choice Immediate Care, in Columbia, Ky. Her academic scholarship is rooted in teaching innovation, use of infographics/social media, and the DNP Project. She is the lead author of the Springer Publication The DNP Project Workbook: A Step By Step Process for Success. Clinically, she is published and a frequent presenter on subjects such as prescribing habits of nurse practitioners and chronic disease management including hypertension, diabetes, COPD, and obesity.