Nurses' perceptions of their preparation for beginning professional practice: an evaluative study

Reilly, Roslyn Corinne (2005) Nurses' perceptions of their preparation for beginning professional practice: an evaluative study. [Thesis (PhD/Research)]

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It is now twenty years since the Federal Government mandated the transfer of nurse education to the tertiary sector. The conflict surrounding the issue of educational preparation for entry to professional nursing practice remains, supported by the oft-repeated comment that 'graduates should hit the ground running'. Student nurses/graduates are key stakeholders in nursing education and their perceptions are a valuable source of information as they experience the Bachelor of Nursing Program. To contribute to the body of knowledge, this evaluative study focused on the perceptions of students/graduates in relation to their preparation for beginning professional practice. Illuminative evaluation, supported by a qualitative interpretive approach, constructivist learning theory and a quantitative approach, was used to help understand and describe how students/graduates constructed ideas about their preparation for beginning professional practice. Data were collected from the participants in two stages, before and after the completion of the Bachelor of Nursing program, using questionnaires, open-ended questions, documentary information, reflective writings and semi-structured interviews. The participants for both Stages were drawn from the same student cohort. Following thematic analysis of the data it emerged that ninety-nine percent of the participants believed they were adequately prepared for beginning professional practice at an advanced beginner level. The study highlights that context is an important factor in relation to learning and that the theory/practice gap is a natural phenomenon in the learning process. Students experience difficulty in transferring knowledge and skills from one context to another. Also, a real tension exists between preparing a well educated nurse and preparing a practitioner who, on graduation, will not be fully prepared to deal with all the complexities and diversities of the nursing practice setting. Nurse clinicians, administrators and academics have a responsibility to ensure beginning practitioners are prepared for beginning professional practice at an advanced beginning level.

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Item Type: Thesis (PhD/Research)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Doctor of Education (EdD) thesis. Transferred from ADT 30/11/2006.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Education
Supervisors: Andrews, D.
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:45
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2016 01:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: nurse, education, professional development
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1110 Nursing > 111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified

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