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Keywords

COVID-19, new graduate nurses, nurse residency program, nursing students, preceptor

 

Authors

  1. Smith, Susan M. MSN, RN, NPD-BC, FNP
  2. Buckner, Martha PhD, RN
  3. Jessee, Mary Ann PhD, RN
  4. Robbins, Veronica BSN, RN
  5. Horst, Tessa MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CDCES, CPN
  6. Ivory, Catherine H. PhD, RN-BC, RNC-OB, FAAN

Abstract

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted nursing education and required modification of instructional methods and clinical experiences. Given the variation in education, rapid transition to virtual platforms, and NCLEX-RN testing stressors, this cohort faced unique losses and gains influencing their transition into clinical practice.

 

Purpose: This study examined the impact of COVID-19 and preparedness for professional practice of 340 new graduate nurses (NGNs) at an academic medical center.

 

Methods: This was a mixed-methods descriptive study focusing on how clinical experience loss or gains in the final semester affected the fears, concerns, and recommendations for NGNs.

 

Results: More than half (67.5%, n = 295) of NGNs reported changes to clinical experiences, ranging from 0 to 240 hours transitioned to virtual (n = 187; median, 51; interquartile range, 24-80). NGNs fear missing important details or doing something wrong in providing patient care. They identified the need for preceptor support, guidance, teaching, and continued practice of skills.

 

Conclusion: Recommendations are clear communication with leadership, advocacy from the nurse residency program, and targeted clinical and emotional support for NGNs.