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Perioperative nursing is a dynamic and principle based specialty. Diversity of procedures require skilled clinicians to support this work.

The Perioperative Transition to Practice (T2P) Program is a 12 month program across WSLHD Operating Suites, consisting of foundational nursing practice concepts related to the perioperative environment.


Our Mission

The T2P program commenced as a recruitment and retention strategy for WSLHD in February 2017, and aimed at developing a strong perioperative nursing workforce with sound foundational knowledge and skills to support safe patient care. The program has been developed to meet the growing needs of WSLHD, which has seen huge growth with large perioperative facilities/service opening in 2019 and 2020. This has provided enormous employment opportunities for staff with experience in perioperative nursing.

Given the level of organisational redevelopment, and increasingly high acuity and complexity of WSLHD patients, the need for a structured educational support program for nursing staff transitioning from New Graduate Nurse or Registered nurse to perioperative nurse was identified. The T2P program has evolved over recent years but continues to deliver a District training and education program to develop quality frontline perioperative nurses.


Aims and Objectives

The T2P Program is an educational program specifically tailored for novice nurses transitioning into Perioperative nursing, and supports development through engagement with contemporary knowledge and clinical experience. The program will provide a richness and diversity of educational and learning opportunities for staff transitioning into the program. Transition to Practice can be is defined as:

“The period of learning, adjustment and socialization, when the nurse applies, consolidates and increases their existing knowledge, gaining competence (knowledge, skill, and attitude) that is applicable to the nursing practice of the clinical setting or patient population in which they are expected to perform.” (Boyle, Butcher et al. 2008)


The aims of the program will enable participants to:
  • Complete Ministry of Health mandatory learning and assessment requirements for perioperative nurses
  • Engage with ACORN Standards (2016) and contemporary evidence to guide critical thinking and problem solving
  • Link theory into clinical nursing practice to provide safe patient care of a high standard (Standard 6)
  • Enhance the patients surgical outcome through delivery of quality perioperative nursing care
  • Apply the principles of patient assessment in the care of the complex patient (Standard 9)
  • Utilise the skills of critical thinking, clinical decision making, reflection and trouble shooting in their clinical practice (Standard 7, 10, and 11)
  • Apply the basic fundamental and core principles of perioperative nursing practice into their clinical nursing management of patients (Standard 8 and 13)
  • Develop adaptable clinical skills across specialties (Standard 5)
  • Work from a professional, legal, and ethic framework to support perioperative patients and their families (Standard 1, 2, and 4)
  • Be prepared for tertiary education studies (Standard 12 and 14)
  • Understand the importance of reflective clinical supervision in their own self-care (Standard 15)

Participants are supported by a detailed career pathway that provides a framework of how nurses may progress from novice to expert.


Program Outline

The T2P program provides participants with an 4 day on campus perioperative Orientation program, followed by at least 3 weeks of Facility based orientation. Ongoing learning and development activities include face-to-face tutorials, workshops and interdepartmental visits.

The program has two specialty ‘streams’. Participants will be placed for 12 months in EITHER the Anaesthetic/PACU stream OR the INTRAOPERATIVE stream.

  • Anaesthetic / Post Anaesthesia Care Unit (PACU) or
  • INTRAOPERATIVE (Circulating / Instrument) streams.

To successfully complete the T2P program, participants need to complete both Clinical and Theoretical learning components.

The ‘CLINICAL’ component consists of:
  • Perioperative Orientation (4 days on campus)
  • Clinical skills / competency assessments for each role
  • Manuals/ workbooks for each role

The ‘Theoretical learning’ component consists of completion of:
  • Case analysis
  • Quality project
  • Reflective activities

Rotations (per facility)
Intraoperative stream - Instrument & Circulating roles (12 months)
Anaesthetic/PACU stream - Anaesthetics nurse (6 months) and PACU nurse (6 months)

Blacktown and Mount Druitt (BMDH)
Participants work for 6 months at BOTH Blacktown AND Mt Druitt Hospitals and consists of:
Anaesthetic nurse role (6 months) and PACU nurse role (6 months), OR Intraoperative nurse roles - Instrument & circulating (12 months)

Anaesthetic nurse role (3 months), Intraoperative nurse roles - Instrument & circulating (6 months) and PACU nurse role (3 months).

Support for program participants is provided by experienced Perioperative educators, intensive orientation and skills workshops, and rostered supernumerary release for each role, and ongoing in-services.



Who Can Apply?

Currently the T2P is available to:
  • Registered Nurses currently employed full time at WSLHD
  • Registered Nurses year 2 and above
  • Registered Nurses with an interest in Perioperative Nursing who acknowledge this is a rotational program over 1 year
  • Registered Nurses who are motivated, like a challenge and are dedicated to professional development
  • Registered Nurses who can adapt quickly to new environments and change as part of the program requires rotational placements
  • Registered Nurses who are prepared to balance the program requirements with fulltime work and lifestyle factors
  • Registered Nurses who would like to be permanently placed in a perioperative setting upon completion of the program


How to Apply?

Recruitment for the T2P program occurs yearly with three intakes in February, March and May.

Promotion for the program usually commences in October each year with tentative interview processes beginning in October/November/December.

An Expression of Interest (EOI) will be distributed via email to the Nursing Unit Manager and Clinical Nurse Educator groups, via staff ward meetings, educational opportunity conversations, and/or pamphlets/flyers around the hospital campus.

The EOI will list selection eligibility criterion to be addressed to progress further to interview.


Interview Process

Each WSLHD Facility (Auburn, BMDH, Westmead) conducts their own interview process. You may apply to all 3 facilities if interested.

The interview process consists of the following components:
    1. An interview panel
    2. 2 x Referee checks (current +/- previous NUM)



You can download the Perioperative Opportunities Flyer here



Site specific Information – contact the Facility Nursing & Midwifery Workforce Manager
Program specific information - please forward all enquiries to WSLHD-Careers



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