Date of Award


Document Type

Evidence Based Nursing Education Project

Degree Name

Master Of Science In Nursing

Colleges & School

Ruth S. Coleman College Of Nursing And Health Sciences

First Advisor

Barbara Haag-Heitman, PhD, RN

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Evidence-based nursing; Nurses--In-service training; Residents (Medicine); School-to-work transition


Purpose: The purpose of this review is to compare current research on nurse residency programs and determine to what degree they assist the positive transition of new graduate nurses during the first year of practice. Design: An integrative literature review was conducted of research studies on nurse residency programs in acute care settings. Kramer's Reality Shock Theory guided this review. Methods: Research published in the U.S. between 2007-2013, was obtained from electronic data searches using the key works "new graduate nurses", "novice nurse", "reality shock", and "nurse residency programs." Outcomes were compared and synthesized into major themes. Findings: Major themes include an increase in competency, satisfaction, peer support, confidence, commitment to the profession, and retention of nurses who completed yearlong residency programs. Organizational cost savings was also found. Conclusions/Relevance: The findings support previous research recommendations that the ideal length of nurse residency programs is one year; and the essential program components include preceptors or mentors and didactic education. This study findings show advance evidence of the important effects that nurse residency programs have on new graduate nurses' transition into practice, including a reduction in reality shock.


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Nursing Commons