School of Nursing


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Sharon Kopis


Nurse Residency Program, New Graduates, Simulation, Self-efficacy




As new graduate nurses are challenged with caring for patients with complex disease processes, nurse residency programs are designed to ease the transition into practice. A community based hospital, in the southern United States has recently implemented such a program. However, the organization continues to have problems with nursing turnover. This problem is especially evident in nurses with less than one year of clinical experience. Research has shown that nurse residency programs without simulative activities eliminate vital critical thinking activities which prepare novice nurses for clinical practice. The purpose of this project was to design evidence-based simulative activities to increase self-efficacy in new graduate Registered Nurses (RNs). A sample of 15 nurse residents received the education interventions and completed a pre and posttest designed to measure self-efficacy. The average pre-intervention test indicated that the new nurse graduates lacked confidence, critical thinking, and remaining calm in dealing with complex clinical situations. After the intervention, the average post-intervention test indicated that the new nurse graduates showed a statistically significant increase in problem-solving skills, clinical confidence in decision-making, confidence in patient education, handling unexpected results, remaining calm in complex situations, and finding solutions to clinical problems. As a result, the organization plans to add simulative activities permanently to the residency program.

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