Qualified nurses' perceptions of nursing graduates' abilities vary according to specific demographic and clinical characteristics. A descriptive quantitative study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Evidence from the literature and anecdotally from clinical settings suggests that newly graduated nurses are not fully prepared to be independent practitioners in healthcare settings.The aim of this study was to explore perceptions of qualified nurses in relation to the practice readiness of newly registered nursing graduates and determine whether these views differ according to specific demographic characteristics, clinical settings, and geographical locations.A descriptive quantitative design was used.An online survey tool was used to assess how qualified nurses (n=201) in Victoria, Australia, rated newly graduated nurses' abilities on 51 individual clinical skills/competencies in eight key skill areas. A composite score was calculated for each skill area and a comparative analysis was undertaken on the various cohorts of participants according to their demographic and clinical characteristics using one-way ANOVA and post hoc tests.Newly graduated nurses were found to be lacking competence in two key skill areas and were rated as performing adequately in the remaining six skill areas assessed. Significant differences (p≤0.05) in performance were found according to the age of the nurse, number of years registered, the educational setting in which they undertook their nurse education, their role, and the clinical area in which they worked. There were no significant differences according to whether the nurse worked in the private or public healthcare sector. Few differences were found between nurses working in a metropolitan vs. regional/rural healthcare setting.This is the first study to quantify the scale of this problem. Our findings serve as a reference for both nurse education providers and healthcare settings in better preparing nursing graduates to be competent, safe practitioners in all clinical areas.

authors

publication date

  • 2016