The Graduate Nurse Experience

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Graduate nurses experience stress transitioning from student to practicing professional nurse, moving from a familiar educational environment into the workforce, where expectations are to rapidly function as a competent nurse. This study identified the stresses and challenges experienced by cohorts of graduate nurses working in 6 acute care hospitals, during specific timed data periods, to better understand factors that may influence graduate nurse retention. Results report graduate nurses do not feel skilled, comfortable, and confident for as long as 1 year after being hired, highlighting the need for healthcare organizations to provide extended orientation and support programs to facilitate successful entry into practice.

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