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Graduate Nurses' Perceptions of a Critical Care Nurse Internship Program

Eigsti, Janice E. MSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN

Journal for Nurses in Staff Development - JNSD:
doi: 10.1097/NND.0b013e3181ae1450

Graduate nurse internship programs (NIPs) have existed for a number of years as tools for recruiting and retaining nurses. A recent literature review uncovers the rare NIP dedicated to orienting the graduate nurse to a critical care environment. Few have addressed the nurse interns' perceptions of these programs. Ongoing evaluation is vital to improving existing programs and giving credence to other hospitals with similar initiatives. A retrospective descriptive design study with the purpose of disclosing the critical care graduate nurse interns' perceptions of the critical care NIP at Elkhart General Hospital, a 330-bed community hospital in Elkhart, Indiana, provided information for this study. Patricia Benner's novice-to-expert model served as the theoretical framework. The critical care NIP questionnaire provided satisfaction scores for program components. Mean scores between groups were explored using the t test. Mean satisfaction score for the overall program was 5.62 (SD = 0.371), with a retention rate of 76.9% (20 of 26). Statistically significant differences in satisfaction scores were not found in this pilot study between nurse interns currently working in critical care and those who are not.

In Brief

The author presents a pilot study of new graduate nurses' satisfaction with a critical care internship program.

Author Information

Janice E. Eigsti, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN, is Critical Care Nurse Educator, Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart, Indiana.

ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE: Janice E. Eigsti, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNRN, Elkhart General Hospital, 600 E. Blvd., Elkhart, IN 46514 (e-mail:

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.