Tammy Steffen

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Science In Nursing

Colleges & School

Ruth S. Coleman College Of Nursing And Health Sciences

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Adjustment (Psychology); Nurses--Job stress; Nursing students--Psychology


The transition from student to professional nurse can be a stressful one. Especially when the student nurse becomes a professional nurse and discovers a gap between the anticipated ideal world and the harsh reality of the real world, the student nurse suffers from reality shock. As early as 1974, the concept of "reality shock" was described in the literature (Kramer, 1974). The purpose of this study was to determine if a nurse intern program eases role transition from student to professional nurse. The perceptions of professional nurses who participated in a nurse intern program while still in nursing school were explored. Professional nurses who had graduated from nursing school within the last six to twelve months and were nurse interns in a hospital setting prior to graduation from nursing school were eligible for participation in this study. The nurse also must have passed the nursing boards and be working as a professional nurse. Nurses volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences. The sample included eight participants who were professional nurses at a large metropolitan healthcare organization. The eight participants were interviewed once by the researcher in a private and quiet area. An interview guide was used during the interview process. The interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. The researcher coded the transcripts and used content analysis to identify themes. The nurse intern program eases the transition from student to professional nurse. The professional nurses commented on how comfortable and easy their transition was. The overall theme that emerged was a "seamless transition" which was expressed by the participants. There were three main categories that coincided with the overall theme of seamless transition which included being supported, learning through experience and being oriented. Most of the participants felt they would have been more stressed without the nurse intern program. Overall the transition from student to professional nurse was a smooth process for all eight of the participants.


On-Campus Access

OCLC Number