Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Mary T. Verklan
The high turnover rate of graduate nurses is a challenge in the United States' hospitals because of high job dissatisfaction rates. The premature disaffiliation of the graduate nurses is costly for organizations and can significantly affect the quality and safety of patient care due to the inadequate supply of adequately prepared staff nurses, particularly in the long-term acute care hospitals. The purpose of the project was to decrease the turnover rate of graduate nurses in a long-term acute care setting from 40% to 20% through modification of the nurse residency program by applying an intervention based on Bauer and Erdogan's theory of organizational socialization. The intervention included provision of psychosocial and educational support to the graduate nurses in addition to the formal classroom learning and a preceptorship with experienced registered nurses. The project used a prospective descriptive design to examine whether the provision of psychosocial and educational support intervention to all newly hired graduate nurses for four weeks beyond the existing residency program would improve the nurses' perceptions on items of the Casey-Fink Graduate Nurse Experience Survey and decrease the turnover rate from 40% to 20%. Eighteen nurses completed the survey at eight weeks (the end of the existing residency program) and at 12 weeks (when four additional weeks of psychosocial and education support ended). The pretest and posttest survey results were compared using descriptive statistics. The graduate nurses' self-reported confidence level, job satisfaction level, and role transition experiences all improved after the intervention. The social change resulting from the project was positive residency learning experience for the graduate nurses that may result in better patient care, commitment to the organization, and retention of nurses.