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  1. Becker, Heather PhD
  2. Ndlovu, Chipo PhD, RN-BC
  3. Huang, Ya-Ching PhD, RN
  4. Rowin, Toni MSN, RN


OBJECTIVE: To examine changes in new nurses' competencies across the 1st year of practice.


BACKGROUND: Competency assessment is a challenge for nurse residency programs and often focuses on skills checklists and confidence self-reports. The Appraisal of Nursing Practice, an observational rating based on Quality and Safety in Nursing Education standards, was developed to help evaluate an RN residency program.


METHODS: Preceptors, nurse educators, and/or unit managers from various units rated new nurse residents. Ratings were compared for 353 nurses at 3 points: within the 1st month in the program (T1), at 5 months (T2), and at month 11 (T3).


RESULTS: Competency ratings increased significantly for all subscales from T1 to T2. Ratings continued to increase significantly from T2 to T3, although at a slightly slower rate. Teamwork and evidence-based practice increased the most.


CONCLUSIONS: Future studies should explore factors affecting the trajectory in developing nursing competencies within various settings.