Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Eileen Fowles


As newly licensed registered nurses enter their first nursing role, their perceived preparation for practice may vary. This descriptive study addressed the education-practice gap that exists as nurses transition into nursing practice. The use of Benner's skill acquisition model offers a structure for connecting theory to practice. New graduate nurses responded to the Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Experience Survey-© to identify gaps in preparedness for novice practice. A convenience sample of nurses within the first 12 months of hire (n = 35) was sent the survey link by educators from the chosen sites. Anonymity was maintained with 18 total responses and 5 respondents completing the entire 25-question survey. Responses were analyzed via descriptive statistics. New graduate nurses either strongly agreed or agreed that they were prepared for their new role and received positive support from preceptors and staff. However, nurses disagreed or strongly disagreed that they were prepared for transition from student to nurse in the areas of workload, unit integration, system, and interpersonal concerns. Thirty percent also felt uncomfortable with independent performance of some technical skills, such as emergency management and blood administration. None of the new graduate nurses felt unprepared in professional skills related to leadership, communication, and decision making, a finding which contrasts with the literature, which indicates that these are areas of difficulty for new graduates. These findings can be used to structure curriculum and educational strategies to address the perceptions of preparedness and transition-to-practice concerns discovered in this project. This project may lead to social change in its attempt to close the education-practice gap with a stronger population of new graduate nurses.

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Nursing Commons