One of the most exciting and crucial times in your nursing career is as a Graduate/Student Nurse. And there is no better place to work, learn and grow within your chosen area of specialty than here with us at the University of Michigan Health System.

Whether you have recently earned your RN license, or are waiting to take your exam, you can be sure that as a member of the UMHS nursing community, you will have access to a full array of programs and resources, including:

  • Individualized, preceptored unit orientation to enhance your skills, critical thinking and organization
  • Clinical area specialized classes in medical-surgical, pediatric or critical care nursing
  • Peer support network activities
  • Ongoing educational activities to encourage lifelong learning

Guidelines for Graduate Nurses

GN Position:

  • Graduate Nurses provide delegated patient care activities and expand their knowledge, skills and experiences in critical thinking and judgment. These activities support the transition to Registered Nurse once the RN license is acquired.

GN Requirements:

  • Failure to obtain a Michigan professional nurse license within 45 days of commencing employment will result in termination.
  • One attempt to successfully pass boards will be given during the 45 day period. If the employee is not successful, he/she will be terminated.
  • If the employee is terminated, he/she is eligible to apply for other positions within UMHS for which he/she is qualified. Seniority would not carry over, however, since seniority does not accrue until licensure.
  • Upon licensure, the employee will be subject to the probationary period as outlined in UMPNC contract Article XXV.
  • The title of “Graduate Nurse” will be changed to Registered Nurse: Level A. Pay will be adjusted with the first bi-weekly pay period following the University’s receipt of the evidence of licensure.
  • Following successful completion of probation, the employee will accrue seniority from the original date of hire as a GN.
  • Access to scheduled paid time off is at the University’s discretion
  • The GN has an eighteen (18) month commitment to their original unit before he/she can apply for a transfer to another nursing unit.

GN Duties/Responsibilities:

Graduate Nurses work under the direction and supervision of a Registered Nurse, who delegates activities and assumes accountability for the care provided by the GN. Duties and responsibilities emphasize assistance and participation in patient care activities.

Key points:

As part of the graduate learning experience, the GN may participate in all delegated activities of the RN with the following exceptions:

The RN will review the patient’s condition, then review and co-sign the following patient care documents prepared by the GN:

  • Nursing Assessment
  • Plan of Care
  • Progress Notes
  • Flow sheets

The GN may not:

  • Receive any verbal or telephone orders
  • Administer medications including blood and blood products
  • Process written medication orders
  • Document on the Medication Administration Record
  • Receive an Omnicell password
  • Initiate seclusion or restraints
  • Delegate or supervise nursing service personnel
  • Engage in high risk procedures that place the patient at risk for harm without direct supervision by the RN

The Graduate Nurse may, and should:

  • Identify rationale for medication use on all their patients
  • Verify and calculate appropriate medication doses and IV flow rates
  • Identify intended effects as well as potential side effects of all medications
  • Participate in monitoring patients for side effects and response to medications
  • Assist in the preparation of medications and IV solutions under the direct observation of the RN preceptor (Note: The RN preceptor must double check all IV flow rates and infusion pump settings. Only the RN may start IV infusions, whether running on an infusion pump or by gravity flow. Only the RN may “push” IV medications.)
  • Monitor patients receiving blood products after the first 15″ of the infusion process is completed
  • Apply and remove patient restraints (only the RN can make the assessment for the initial application of the restraint)
  • Each unit must review its orientation competency expectations to determine which activities are appropriate for a GN. A current copy of the Graduate Nurse Orientation Competencies is to be kept on file with Educational Services for Nursing.

Each unit is responsible for assuring that the above stated guidelines are followed, especially with regard to medication administration. The GN and RN preceptors must acknowledge their understanding by signing the Graduate Nurse Orientation competency form.

Complete information outlining position descriptions, roles, responsibilities, requirements and more for Graduate Nurses is available online.

International Nurses

If you are seeking information about Opportunities for International Nurses with UMHS, please consult our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more details.