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Cynthia Fletcher


A perceived discrepancy exists in understanding between nursing educators' and hospital nurse leaders' views on job performance expectations and the reality of current job performance that may contribute to the difficulty experienced by novice nurses during their transition period. Lack of clarity in expectations may lead novice nurses to change jobs or leave the nursing profession within the first year of practice. The purpose of this descriptive study, guided by Benner's novice to expert theory, was to determine whether a difference exists between hospital nurse leaders' beliefs and nursing educators' beliefs about the frequency and competency levels, including leadership for novice nurses transitioning into practice, critical care nursing performance, teaching and collaboration, ability to plan and evaluate, interpersonal relations and communications, and professional development. Survey data were collected from 52 nursing educators and 52 hospital nurse leaders using the Schwirian's 6-dimension scale of nursing performance and analyzed using MANOVA and independent t tests. No differences were identified between hospital nurse leaders' and nurse educators' beliefs on the frequency and competency level in all areas examined for novice nurses transitioning into practice. Hospital nurse leaders' and nurse educators' expectations for novice nurses aligned. Further research should focus on ways to strengthen novice nurses' knowledge, critical thinking, and skills so they are better prepared to enter the transition period. Outcomes from this study may be used to improve education and transition to practice for novice nurses, which can result in positive social change.

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