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The Graduate Nurse Experience

Casey, Kathy MS; Fink, RN Regina PhD, RN, FAAN; Krugman, AOCN Mary PhD, RN; Propst, FAAN Jennifer BSN, RN

Journal of Nursing Administration: June 2004 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 303-311

Graduate nurses experience stress transitioning from student to practicing professional nurse, moving from a familiar educational environment into the workforce, where expectations are to rapidly function as a competent nurse. This study identified the stresses and challenges experienced by cohorts of graduate nurses working in 6 acute care hospitals, during specific timed data periods, to better understand factors that may influence graduate nurse retention. Results report graduate nurses do not feel skilled, comfortable, and confident for as long as 1 year after being hired, highlighting the need for healthcare organizations to provide extended orientation and support programs to facilitate successful entry into practice.

Authors’ affiliation: Clinical Instructor (Ms Casey); Research RN Scientist (Dr Fink); Director, Professional Resources (Dr Krugman); Cardiothoracic Surgery Case Manager (Ms Propst), University of Colorado Hospital, Denver, Colo.

Corresponding author: Ms Casey, University of Colorado Hospital, Campus Box A021-830, 4200 E. 9th Ave, Denver, CO 80262 (

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.