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clinical experiences, newly graduated RNs, nursing education, practice readiness, transition into practice



  1. Hatzenbuhler, Nicole J. MSN, RN
  2. Klein, Julie E. PhD, RN, CNE


Background: Preparedness of newly graduated RNs to provide safe, competent patient care is a significant concern because of increasing work demands and complexities in health care systems.


Purpose: This qualitative study explored the perceptions of newly graduated RNs about how their educational experiences as prelicensure students prepared them to enter the nursing workforce.


Methods: Face-to-face, semi structured interviews were conducted with 10 RNs who held baccalaureate degrees, were employed in acute care settings, and practiced for 1 to 2 years.


Results: Analysis of the interview data revealed that nursing education programs did not adequately prepare graduates for their multifaceted roles and responsibilities as RNs. The participants offered recommendations for faculty use in prelicensure nursing programs to better prepare students for successful transition into clinical practice.


Conclusions: Nursing faculty should implement practice-oriented educational experiences to facilitate students to assume professional roles and responsibilities when they enter the nursing workforce.