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Cynthia Fletcher


Novice nurses often feel unprepared to transition to practice, which results in increased turnover, which is costly to healthcare organizations and can compromise patient care. Many schools have transitioned to a concept-based curriculum, to move away from traditional content-saturated nursing education. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of novice nurses educated in a concept-based curriculum as they transitioned to practice. Benner’s novice-to-expert framework and Tanner’s clinical judgment model guided understanding of the behavior of the nurses during the transition period. This interpretative phenomenological study was used to understand new graduates’ perception of their experiences as they transitioned to practice. Eight concept-based nurses were interviewed via Skype. The interviews were audio-recorded and then transcribed. Coding interpretative phenomenological analysis produced four emergent themes and 10 subthemes. The main themes were Facilitating Successful Transition, Hindering Successful Transition, Seeing the Bigger Picture, and Experiencing Job Satisfaction. The consensus was that the use of concepts facilitated integration of the content taught in nursing school, helped nurses to think critically when assessing the care needs of the patients, and facilitated successful transition to practice. The insights from this study may be used by educators to evaluate the curriculum and make changes to facilitate the transition of graduates into clinical settings who can readily use critical thinking and clinical reasoning when providing care to patients.

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