Nursing Onboarding Programs at Cayuga Health

At Cayuga Health, we provide an extensive onboarding experience and opportunities for ongoing development and education for our nursing and patient services team.

We welcome a variety of backgrounds and experiences, and we build on that experience to teach you all there is to know about your chosen specialty.

When NPS team members join Cayuga Health, they are required to attend New Employee Orientation (NEO), Patient Care Provider Orientation (PCPO), and Unit-Based Clinical Orientation.

New Employee Orientation

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Patient Care Provider Orientation

Following NEO, new clinical employees attend PCPO, a three-day, blended orientation of classroom learning, hands-on clinical skills, and computer-based learning. PCPO is designed to orient new clinical employees to Cayuga Health’s relationship-based care philosophy and initial competencies, policies, and practices.

PCP prepares new clinical employees for their subsequent Unit-Based Clinical Orientation with an experienced preceptor. Patient safety is the underlying theme of the entire orientation program. By offering this training before clinical employees ever touch our patients, we are equipping them with the tools they need to provide safe and effective care from day one.

Unit-Based Clinical Orientation

Each unit has a department-based educator who will customize orientation based on the individual. The length of the orientation can vary depending on the area and previous experience.

Clinical Mentoring Program

The Clinical Mentoring Program is a structured post-orientation program in which, through a unit-based assignment, a mentor and mentee are paired for an established amount of time to meet specific needs. It is a framework for the passage of wisdom, caring and confidence between new and experienced staff.

The Clinical Mentoring Program includes:

  • Developing supportive and encouraging relationships.
  • Guiding new hires in their professional, personal and interpersonal growth.
  • Communicating information concerning expectations, learning opportunities and stressors.
  • Promoting optimal engagement and integration of the new hire into the Cayuga Health system.

The program consists of a structured 12-month mentoring plan of activities and objectives, guidelines for success, and tools for the mentor and mentee. Using the six mentoring principles, mentor behaviors utilize an evidence-based practice (EBP) approach toward fostering a mentoring culture. To effectively implement this program, unit-level mentoring champions are utilized throughout the organization to assist with support of mentors, linking of mentors and mentees, and maintaining the evidence-based integrity of the program.

Cayuga Health Nurse Residency Program

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Cayuga Health Nurse Residency program transitions new graduates into our nursing workforce. The residency program offers multiple layers of support, including:

  • System-level classes
  • Specialty-specific classes
  • Orientation at the bedside with a team of preceptors
  • Simulations
  • Camaraderie and support from a cohort of other new graduates

Hands-on training of clinical skills is front-loaded in the program to increase confidence at the bedside. Later classes include important transition topics like cultivating a health work culture, building resilience, addressing moral distress, educating patients and families, and growing your career at Cayuga Health.

Nurse residency cohorts start on predetermined new graduate hire dates, typically in August for May graduates and February for December graduates. Nurses start the nurse residency program after being hired for specific nursing units. To be considered for the program, you will need to apply to the designated residency program you are interested in. If you would like to be considered for numerous departments, you will have an opportunity to express your units of interest in the program application.

Apply for our nurse residency program!

Nurse Residency Program Units:

  • Medical Surgical
  • Operating Room
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Emergency Department
  • Inpatient Rehab
  • Short Stay Unit

If you have additional questions about our residency program, please reach out to

Other Programs and Offerings for Cayuga Health’s Nursing and Patient Services Team Members

In addition to our onboarding programs, we offer the following opportunities to our NPS team:

  • On-site simulation lab for ongoing training and education
  • Night owl committee to support our night shift with programs, committees, and floating preceptors
  • Preceptor training programs
  • Ongoing resiliency and stress reduction training courses and classes
  • System committees and programs to encourage support and involvement in our overall nursing and patient services strategic plan

Flexible Scheduling

Cayuga Health System offers an array of flexible scheduling options for experienced nurses. We value our NPS team and seek to provide creative options that support you. From our in-house float pool (CHESS Team – Cayuga Health enterprise support system) to our enhanced rate programs, Cayuga Health has the right program to support your busy life.

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