Transition to Practice After Participation in a Student Nurse Associate Program: A Qualitative Study
Repository Posting Date2016-03-29T13:08:52Z
Author(s)Hopkins, Kathleen W.
Author DetailsKathleen W. Hopkins, RN, CNE
Lead Author Sigma AffliationMu Beta
Other Title(s)Student Issues: How They Feel [Session]
Session presented on Friday, April 8, 2016: The aim of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the lived experience of new graduate nurses who have completed a Student Nurse Associate Program during the summer between their junior and senior year of their baccalaureate nursing program. This pre-licensure program was designed to support transition to professional practice by fostering confidence and competence, thus reducing fear and anxiety. Purposive sampling in addition to the use of the snowball technique was used which yielded data saturation with a of sample of 12 nurses. Data were generated by asking the participants to respond to four research questions during individual interviews. The naturalistic inquiry of Lincoln and Guba and the data analysis method of Colaizzi were germane to the study. This study revealed eight themes which were significant for new graduates to facilitate a smooth transition to professional practice. These included: 1. Confidence: Growth during the program; 2. Delegation: A difficult challenge; 3. Communication: Learning how to interact with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals; 4. Competence: Perfecting basic skills; 5. Time Management: Developing organizational systems; 6. Work Environment: Learning practices, policies, and people; 7. Prioritization: Critical thinking in action; and 8. Collaboration: Becoming a team player. The participants in the study reported improved abilities in all areas with the exception of delegation and prioritization; these two areas were not mastered to the same extent. Most participants confirmed these areas were not perfected until they had been working as a registered nurse for a period of time. This study has contributed to the science of nursing and knowledge development regarding transition to practice. Further research is needed to include a larger and more diverse sample. Additional research should focus on comparisons between pre-licensure and post-licensure programs in terms of cost, efficacy, and outcomes. Transition support programs are becoming a reality due to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine, the Joint Commission, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Nursing leaders in academia and practice need to collaborate to determine best practices to support new nurses which leads to increased retention and nurse satisfaction.