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  1. Bartz, Kathy Lou Schaber PhD, RN, CNAA


The purpose of this qualitative study was to characterize and explain the unique features relating to the orientation of newly hired nurses in an urgent care setting. The learning needs of professionally experienced nurses are examined as nurses change their context of work. The methodology for this study was exploratory, using descriptive and evaluative case studies. Nurses identified how additional knowledge was learned when they recognized gaps between what they know and what they need to know. The findings included an urgent care nursing perspective of orientations and consisted of four sources of learning: natural, self-directed, peer-directed, and organization-directed. The narratives shared by these nurses strengthen and advance the communication of those who help adults learn.


An urgent care center provides valuable services for the community, family, patient, and the healthcare facility it represents. The care offered to patients is similar to care provided in a clinic setting, often without the consistency of the same provider and staff; at the same time, it also maintains a similar pace to services in an emergency room because of the speed and level of acuity (Detwiler & Clark, 1995) that patient care situations often require.


Urgent care centers are usually designed to handle patients who are in non-life-threatening situations and who are willing to wait for their care depending upon the order of arrival and the severity of the illness. In other words, patients are seen on a first come-first served basis, except that nursing judgment is used for the triage of patients. A patient determined by a nurse to be too uncomfortable or too ill to wait his or her turn will be seen before a less ill patient.