Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Anne Vitale


An acute care practice site reported 75% turnover of novice nurse practitioners (NPs),

which indicated a gap in the transition from student to practitioner within the first year of

clinical practice. This gap can leave novice NPs unprepared to manage patients

effectively and contribute to high turnover. The practice-focused question addressed

whether an evidence-based staff development program for novice NPs at an acute care

site could be developed. The purpose of this project was to create a framework based on

evidence to transition novice NPs successfully into practice. Benner's skill-acquisition

in-nursing theory informed this project. Evidence was obtained by searching electronic

databases, reviewing professional organization websites, and consulting with experts.

The search revealed journal articles, best-practice guidelines, and useful insights from

experts. The Elkins literature review matrix was used to organize, summarize, and weigh

the evidence. A summary of consultations with experts was used. Commonalities within

the evidence included guided clinical experiences and nonclinical activities such as (a)

formal didactic sessions, (b) professional development, and (c) quality improvement.

Outcomes include recommendations for a 12-month postgraduate development program

framework and educational content. Recommendations were also provided for formative

and summative evaluations. The implications of this project for social change include

effective preparation of novice NPs and stabilization of the NP workforce at the project


Included in

Nursing Commons