Hospital Preceptors' Perceptions of the New Registered Nurses Preparedness to Perform Basic Nursing Skills Safely and Independently

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:25 PM

Kimberley R. Echeverria, RN, BSN, MSN
School of Nursing, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, FL

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to make a decision as to whether new nurses have adequate education/preparation to perform basic nursing skills safely and independently.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will recognize nursing education hasn't changed in the last forty years, and what changes need to be made to prepare the new nurses.

The purpose of this case study research is to determine the perceptions of the new nurse preceptors regarding the preparedness of new nurses as to their knowledge and performance of basic skills safely and independently.  This data may lead to changes in clinical education and new nurse hospital orientation programs.  Also, the intent of this case study is to confirm that new novice nurses who can not perform basic nursing skills safely and independently will not be able to advance from novice to expert, the highest level of nursing (Benner, 1984).  Additionally, the new nurse may not be capable of incorporating Evidence-Based Practice to safely care for her patients. 
The primary research question is:
X What are the preceptors’ perceptions, regarding new nurses’ knowledge and abilities to perform basic nursing skills safely and independently? 
Secondary questions to be answered are: 
X What are the preceptors’ perceptions based on,
X Do the preceptors believe the students are being taught the most useful basic nursing skills, and
X How does the nursing curriculum prepare the student to perform these skills? 
The theoretical basis for this study is Benner’s Theory entitled From Novice to Expert.  If a new nurse has not had adequate preparation to perform basic nursing skills safely and independently, she will have difficulty advancing from the novice level of nursing to the expert level which consists of critical thinking and Evidence-Based Practice.  The new nurse novice is further hindered by never having executed many of these basic nursing skills in a controlled, supervised clinical setting.  The ramifications are that the new novice nurse may perform these basic skills incorrectly causing harm to the patient, destroying her self-confidence, and eventually causing her to leave the profession. 
                                         Reference
Benner, P. (1984).  From Novice to Expert - Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice,

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.