Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Janice Long


Nurses are the largest group of healthcare providers in most acute care hospitals, and the demand for registered nurses is expected to grow by 15% by 2026. The new graduate registered nurse (NGRN) is the supply that will fill the shortage; however, NGRNs are reportedly lacking in the ability to connect the lessons learned in the classroom with real patient care, unprepared for necessary skills, emotionally stressed, and have a high first-year turnover rate. Strategies such as nurse residency programs are needed to support NGRNs as these new nurses’ transition from academics to clinical practice. The purpose of this project, guided by Duchscher’s stages of transition theory and the transition shock model, was to conduct a systematic review of the literature to identify the most current, evidence-based studies that help to answer the question of whether nurse residency programs improve new graduate nurse transition to practice and if they improve retention and satisfaction. A systematic review of 36 studies published between 2010 and 2020 was conducted. The studies were examined using the Joanna Briggs Institute checklist and graded with the hierarchy of evidence pyramid by Glover. The findings revealed the following 3 major themes that aligned with the research question: satisfaction with the program, retention was improved, and NGRN transition to practice. Graduate residency programs were largely reported to be beneficial in helping NGRNs transition from the role of student to professional nursing practice. NGRN residency programs also improved nurse retention and promoted satisfaction. As a result, this project will improve nurse retention, satisfaction, and the quality of patient care resulting in positive social change.

Included in

Nursing Commons