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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000437108.76232.20
Feature Articles

Original Research: Hearing the Voices of Newly Licensed RNs: The Transition to Practice

Spiva, LeeAnna PhD, RN; Hart, Patricia L. PhD, RN; Pruner, Lisa MSN, RN; Johnson, Donna BSN, RN; Martin, Kenzie MSN, RN; Brakovich, Betsy DNP, MPA, RN; McVay, Frank BSN, RN; Mendoza, Sency G. BSN, RN

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Abstract

Objective: The future of nursing depends on newly licensed RNs (NLRNs), who often need help in transitioning from an academic to a clinical setting. This study sought to describe the NLRN's orientation experience and to identify ways of enhancing it.

Methods: Using qualitative methods, a convenience sample of NLRNs was recruited and 21 were interviewed; audio recordings of the interviews were transcribed and validated for accuracy. Interpretative analysis of the transcripts sought to identify major patterns and themes.

Results: Four patterns and 10 themes emerged from the data analysis: preceptor variability (with themes of satisfactory and unsatisfactory preceptorship), professional growth and confidence changing with time (with themes of learning through experience, learning to manage time, and learning to communicate), a sense of being nurtured (with themes of support through the program, the preceptor, and peers), and enhancing the transition (with themes of orientation enhancements and human resource enhancements).

Conclusions: These qualitative findings provide insight into the NLRN's transition from student to professional and suggest ways institutions might enhance orientation. Further study is warranted.

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.

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