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competency, nursing student, preceptor, readiness for practice, transition into practice



  1. Rusch, Lorraine PhD, RN
  2. Manz, Julie PhD, RN
  3. Hercinger, Maribeth PhD, RN
  4. Oertwich, Ann PhD, RN
  5. McCafferty, Kandis PhD, RN


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.