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Nurse Preceptor Perceptions of Nursing Student Progress Toward Readiness for Practice

Rusch, Lorraine, PhD, RN; Manz, Julie, PhD, RN; Hercinger, Maribeth, PhD, RN; Oertwich, Ann, PhD, RN; McCafferty, Kandis, PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000546
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New nurses are often perceived as not meeting expectations for safe nursing practice. Nurse educators need to identify student learning and professional development needs as students progress toward practice. The purpose of the study was to determine the strengths and weaknesses of senior-level nursing students related to readiness for practice before graduation. Using a descriptive, exploratory design, nurse preceptors evaluated the degree to which their assigned senior nursing student was meeting expectations for readiness for nursing practice. Survey items were organized into affective, cognitive, and psychomotor domains and general readiness. This evaluation occurred at the beginning of the final practicum to assess student progress toward readiness for practice. Students scored highest in professional attributes but lowest in time management, prioritization, management of multiple patients, and pharmacology knowledge. Results can be used to inform teaching strategies, strengthen academic-clinical partnerships, and promote readiness for entry-level practice.

Author Affiliations: Associate Professor (Drs Rusch, Manz and Hercinger) and Assistant Professor (Drs Oertwich and McCafferty), Creighton University College of Nursing, Omaha, Nebraska.

Dr Oertwich is now the Executive Director, Nebraska Board of Nursing.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Rusch, Creighton University College of Nursing, 2500 California Plaza, Omaha, NE 68178 (

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal’s Web site (

Accepted for publication: March 11, 2018

Published ahead of print: May 23, 2018

Cite this article as: Rusch L, Manz J, Hercinger M, Oertwich A, McCafferty K. Nurse preceptor perceptions of nursing student progress toward readiness for practice. Nurse Educ. 2019;44(1):34-37. DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000546

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