Ask a Nursing Advisor - Hiring a Graduate Nurse (GN)

I am considering hiring a Graduate Nurse (GN). What do I need to consider in order to provide a supportive environment for the GN?

Graduate Nurses (GN) are those who have recently graduated and are waiting to complete the necessary requirements to become a Registered Nurse (RN). As an employer, prior to hiring a GN, there are a few areas that must be considered and are outlined in the Graduate Nurse Practice Guideline.

GN scope of practice is narrower than that of an RN. Given that a GN cannot replace an RN, as they are continuing to develop their individual competencies, they require supervision. It is important to ensure there is sufficient staff available to perform the duty of supervising, as well as directing the work actions of the GN in a collaborative manner. There may also be situations and activities that a Graduate Nurse is not authorized to perform independently and should be supported to gain the skills necessary to practice in those areas. This can be done by working alongside experienced RNs in areas such as RN Specialty Practices (RNSP) or as a Charge Nurse.

It is especially important to provide support to new nurses and provide them an environment where they can grow and thrive as they transition to providing safe, competent and ethical care as a licensed Registered Nurse in Saskatchewan. As they await their appointment to write their licensure exam, it is important to support them in being successful. There are various resources available for new nurses to aid in completing their examination successfully.

Graduate Nurse licenses are unique to each individual GN and are based on the date of their exam appointment and the waiting period allocated for results. These licenses are limited to four months and can only be renewed up to a maximum of two times, with completion of the Continuing Competence Program required for the second and final extensions. There are specific requirements and an application process for the first license and subsequent extension(s). It is the responsibility of the GN to ensure their application is completed and their license is up to date.

If you have any questions about Graduate Nurse practice, please direct them to





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