Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jeanne Sorrell


This project study addressed the problem of knowledge and skills lost by new graduate RNs while delayed in transitioning to professional nursing practice. There is a paucity of knowledge about how new RNs experience their delay and how a delay may affect their future clinical performance. Mezirow's transformation learning theory was the conceptual framework for this qualitative case study. Research questions addressed new RNs' understanding of their experiences during a delay to professional practice. A purposeful sample included 8 new RNs who had completed a New Graduate Residency Transition Program (NGRTP) after a delay to practice of 6 months to 3 years. Four managers of the RN participants were also included in the sample. Data were collected through audio-recorded semistructured interviews and manager questionnaires. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed to identify themes. Findings indicated that while waiting for a RN position, the delay to practice new RN (DTP-RN) passed through stages that reflected clinical and professional needs. The consequences of the new RNs' delay to practice may impact the required NGRTP process. Findings influenced the development of a white paper to educate hospital nurse educators and managers about the DTP-RNs' unique needs. Recommendations include a NGRTP designed to meet the transition needs of the DTP-RN. Implementation of recommendations for a NGRTP may enhance the DTP-RNs' successful transition into professional practice with a result of greater job satisfaction and decreased RN turnover.