Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Mary T. Verklan
The transition from student to new graduate nurse is a difficult conversion. The challenges of the new graduate are the demanding workload, lack of clinical skills, and incivility from staff nurses and unfamiliar institutional cultures. More than 40% of new graduate nurses report making medication errors and feel unprepared to recognize and intervene in life-threatening complications that keep the patient safe from harm. Preceptorship is a clinical instructive model in which a professional relationship provides new graduate nurses with access to a clinical expert and role model within a preset time frame. The goal of the program was to evaluate the outcomes of a preceptorship program that individualized a teaching-learning method in which a new graduate nurse was assigned a clinical expert in order to experience the day-to-day practice with a role model and a resource in the clinical setting. At the conclusion of the orientation process, the graduate nurse identified confidence in their ability to complete assigned skills, they were more motivated to remain on staff in the facility, and the retention of the new graduate nurses increased from 40% to 100% at the 1 year mark. The graduate nurses evaluated the program, the preceptor and the assigned competencies and the facility and the probability of continuing on staff. The surveys were collected by management, and evaluated for rigor, which revealed encouraging results of the program. The facilitation and integration of the preceptor program for new graduate nurses changed the perception of competency within the facility as it relates to the discipline of nursing and moves the graduate toward professional growth, establishing a changing environment in the facility's community of healthcare.