School of Nursing
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
competency-based orientation, transition to practice, critical care orientation, COVID-19, new graduate onboarding, simulation, clinical competence
Hinish, Anne-Marie, "Best Practices for Implementing Critical Care Orientation Programs for Newly Graduated Nurses After Reduced Hands-On Clinical Experience Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic: An Integrative Review" (2022). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3905.
The academic-practice gap has been described in the literature for years. Poorly implemented transition to practice can negatively impact patient outcomes, newly graduated nurses, and the nursing profession. Abbreviated prelicensure clinical experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated the academic-practice gap’s impact on new nurse confidence, competence, safety, and retention. This integrative literature review aimed to identify best practices for developing and implementing a standardized new graduate nurse orientation program in the critical care setting that addresses and supports the transition from student to practitioner in an era of reduced hands-on clinical experiences due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Evidence shows that interventions focused on improving the transition period for newly graduated nurses were beneficial and can positively impact new graduate nurses’ confidence, competence, and retention, as well as patient safety and care quality. A synthesis of the literature revealed common themes in successful transition to practice programs include the presence of a designated resource person/preceptor, structured orientation, nurse residency, clearly defined and routinely measured core competencies, and simulation exercises.