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Nurse Transitions

Nurse Preceptorship to Ease the Transition

The healthcare industry is continuously changing and advancing and nurses are assuming more leadership functions in a variety of settings with increased independence. Nursing shortages and high patient-nurse ratios place increased stress on today's nurse (Celia & Gordon, 2000; Grindel, 2003). Newly graduated nurses report their concern regarding a lack of confidence, knowledge, and competence. As the nurse transitions from the role of senior student to the role of qualified staff nurse, these concerns result in high levels of stress and role uncertainty (Higuchi & Donald, 2002; Whitehead, 2001).

While nurse educators strive to prepare students with skills and expertise, in the practice of nursing, clinical experiences are necessary to acquire this knowledge and ability (Roche, 2002). Whitehead (2001) stated that nurse students heading for this transition must be prepared for reality rather than what may be ideal in a clinical setting. Students tend to have an unrealistic view of nursing based on what is taught in school and they need to experience what actually occurs on the wards. The shift from learner to worker leads to role conflicts as well. The new staff nurse may lack the required skills to be considered a competent practitioner. Findings from interviews with six subjects showed that participants reported uncertainty, fear, and trepidation about their first experiences on the ward. Nurses described their feelings: "I was very frightened before and after I started. You don't think you know enough . . .," and "It was very frightening . . . ." (p. 333). Nurses reported a lack of confidence in preparation and training for the new position. Feelings were" "I don't think that you can be prepared [for the role transition] . . . however good a student you are, however far advanced, they can never really let you loose on your own patients" (p. 335). Conclusions from the st...

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Nurse Transitions. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:04, June 19, 2019, from