Thursday, July 22, 2004
This presentation is part of : Nursing Education
Linking Preparation for Practice With Propensity for Errors
June E. Smith, RN, PhD, Research Services Department, Research Services Department, National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Chicago, IL, USA
Learning Objective #1: Identify the practice setting issues for which new nurses are best and least prepared
Learning Objective #2: Synthesize information about the link between preparation for practice and practice setting errors into improvements in nursing education and transition to practice programs

Problem statement: The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) has as its members all of the boards of nursing in the U.S. and five territories. One of the functions of nursing boards is approval of programs of nursing education. Evidence of effective educational processes may be found in the outcomes of nursing education. Objective: This study explored the link between graduate nurses’ self-reports of preparation for practice and their propensity for involvement in errors. Methods: A survey was sent to a stratified random sample of 1,000 newly licensed registered nurses from across the U.S. The new nurses provided ratings of their preparation for 21 practice setting issues, and reported their involvement in errors. Sample: A 66% return rate of deliverable surveys was obtained. Respondent nurses had mostly been educated in baccalaureate degree (55%), associate degree (35%) and diploma (3%) programs. Eighty-seven percent reported working in hospitals, 6% in long term care and 4% in community or ambulatory settings. Findings: The survey respondents felt best prepared to administer medications and provide direct care to 2 clients. Respondents were much less likely to report being adequately prepared to supervise care provided by others, make clinical decisions, use research findings, or meet clients’ spiritual needs. Further, lack of preparation in the areas of supervision of care by others, work within health care teams, communicating with physicians, psycho-motor skills and pharmacology was found to be significantly related to involved in errors. Implications: The findings from this study may assist nursing faculty in developing and evaluating curriculums leading to the preparation of new nurses better able to provide safe, effective care. Individuals in nurse practice settings may also use this information in creating transition to practice activities that best meet the needs of new graduates and their clients.

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Sigma Theta Tau International
July 22-24, 2004