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  1. Boswell, Suzanne RN, BSN
  2. Lowry, Lois W. DNSc, RN
  3. Wilhoit, Kathryn RN, CNAA, FACHE, CP, CNE


During this time of nursing shortages, hospitals that want to maintain the competitive edge must seek ways to recruit and retain a competent nursing staff. This study was conducted in a large hospital that strives to be the primary health care provider and employer of choice in its geographic region. The purpose of the study was to assess new nurses' perceptions of nursing practice and their expectations for meeting professional goals. Sixty-seven new nurses from 13 hospital departments were interviewed. Comprehensive orientation, continuing education, and mentoring were important values identified by this group of nurses. Communication with physicians and fear of causing accidental harm to patients were expressed concerns. Data from this survey will be used by the organization to change orientation policies to better meet the needs of the nursing staff and improve recruitment and retention of nurses.