As nurses gain confidence, independence, and experience in their practice, they shouldn't forget the concerns that plague inexperienced graduate nurses (“Hearing the Voices of Newly Licensed RNs,” November 2013). Six years ago, as a novice obstetrics nurse, my principal concern was making a mistake. Preceptors are an exceptional resource, but they can't supervise every task.
It's been reported that up to 53% of errors committed on patient care units involve nurses with less than one year of experience.1 Highlighting the potential for these errors may increase the novice nurse's comfort in asking questions, which is so important in developing critical thinking skills.2
In addition to the program-enhancements suggested by the authors of this article, I strongly suggest adding information about the error potential among new nurses to any nurse residency or preceptor development program.
Keneisha Houston, BSN, RN
Fort Worth, TX
1. Kenward K, Zhong EH. Report of findings from the practice and professional issues survey Fall 2004. Chicago: National Council of State Boards of Nursing; 2006 Apr. https://www.ncsbn.org/Vol_22_web.pdf
2. Saintsing D, et al. The novice nurse and clinical decision-making: how to avoid errors J Nurs Manag. 2011;19(3):354–9