Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives


Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives


Article excerpt


Transition into the role of registered nurse after graduation from nursing education programs results in new nurses feeling overwhelmed and unprepared for the challenges of the workplace. The purpose of this triangulated, descriptive study was to describe the clinical transition experience of senior baccalaureate nursing students during pregraduation preceptored practicums, which took place three times per week for three weeks. Data were collected from student journal entries, liaison faculty, and clinical preceptors. Thematic analysis was performed on responses students recorded on the Daily Feedback Sheet on Transition to the Graduate Nurse Role and on preceptor- and liaison faculty-documented journals. According to students, preceptors, and liaison faculty, students' knowledge and skills increased during the preceptorship, and many students became integral members of hospital unit teams. Strategies to modify the preceptorship included maintaining consistency with liaison faculty and increasing communication between preceptors and liaison faculty.

Key Words Pregraduation Preceptorship - Undergraduate Nursing Students -Transition to the Role of Registered Nurse

FOLLOWING GRADUATION, DURING THEIR INITIAL EMPLOYMENT, NEW NURSES OFTEN FEEL OVERWHELMED AND UNPREPARED FOR THE CHALLENGES OF THE WORKPLACE (I). PRECEPTORED, SENIOR-YEAR PRACTICUMS CAN EASE THE STRESS OF ADAPTATION AND SOCIALIZATION INTRINSIC TO INDEPENDENT NURSING PRACTICE AND SERVE AS A TRANSITION FOR NURSING STUDENTS TO THE ROLE OF REGISTERED NURSE (2-4). SUCCESSFUL PRECEPTOR PROGRAMS SUPPORT NURSES AND HELP ENSURE THEIR RETENTION IN NURSING. > The literature describes experiences of new nurse graduates who are assigned preceptors in orientation programs (5-10). However, there is a dearth of research literature on the transition of students to the graduate nurse role through preceptored experiences that take place during the final year of a baccalaureate nursing program. THIS ARTICLE reports on a triangulated, descriptive study designed to describe the clinical transition experience of seniors during a pregraduation, preceptored clinical experience. TWO RESEARCH QUESTIONS WERE POSED:

1. From the perspectives of students, liaison faculty, and clinical preceptors, what is the clinical transitional experience for BSN students who participate in an intensive preceptorship, three days per week for three weeks, during the senior year?

2. What patterns in the clinical transitional experience reveal issues for continuous improvement of the BSN program?

Consistent with VanGennep, the clinical transitional experience was defined as a social and physical passage in which students progress to the graduate nurse role during a preceptorship prior to graduation (11). Issues for continuous quality improvement were defined as matters for discussion by faculty to improve the preceptored experience, and the preceptorship program was defined as a pregraduation "intensive, reality-based clinical experience to facilitate transition into the real world of nursing" (12, p. 26).

Review of the Literature The clinical transition from the nursing student role to the graduate nurse role can be viewed as a rite of passage that encompasses three major phases: separation, transition, and incorporation (11). As a transition, the preceptored practicum in the senior year might include the separation of students from dependence on faculty, their feelings of increasing competence, and their incorporation into the new role of professional nurse.

The clinical competence of baccalaureate nursing students participating in a summer preceptorship was compared to that of a similar group who worked as nursing assistants in a non-instructional clinical setting (13). Clinical competence was rated by head nurses. Students in the summer preceptor groups demonstrated greater gain in clinical competence, problem solving, application of theory to practice, and performance of psychomotor skills. …

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