Paper Type

Doctoral Project


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Lillia M. Loriz

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara J. Olinzock

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathaleen C. Bloom


Nurse educators believe that their graduates are well-prepared for entry level positions in nursing. In the acute healthcare setting, new graduates are placed on virtually every type of nursing unit, including critical care. Employers have developed formal orientations to familiarize new graduate nurses new with the institution and its policies and procedures and to teach the things employers believe new RNs need to know but do not, either because they were never taught the material or they have not retained it.

The purposes of this project were to (a) examine the evidence relative to a disconnect between nursing education and nursing practice, (b) design a formal residency program for new graduates based on the evidence, and (c) implement and evaluate the residency program. Based on the evidence, a 16-week new nurse residency was developed in which Residents were each assigned both a Preceptor and Mentor to assist their progress. Weekly educational offerings were targeted at specific competency deficits identified by Residents, Preceptors and Mentors at the beginning of the residency program.

Seven out of the original 10 Residents completed the Residency. Pre-residency, the Residents were very confident of their clinical skills and abilities and this was unchanged post-residency. The Preceptors and Mentors were much less confident of the clinical skills and abilities of the Residents pre-residency. Post-residency, the confidence level of the Preceptors and Mentors was improved, but significantly so only for the Mentors.

It is imperative that nursing administrators be aware of the discrepancy between the confidence new nurses have in their own skills and the perceptions of the nurses who work side by side with them on a daily basis. Residencies for new graduate nurses are costly. Nursing administrators must make the determination if the benefits outweigh the costs. They may find the results of not having a residency are far more costly.

Included in

Nursing Commons