Peggy A. Ursuy


Hummel, Faye I.

Committee Member

Merrill, Alison S.

Committee Member

Decker, Sally


Nursing Education


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





228 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


To discover how the sense of becoming was experienced by advanced beginner Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) graduates in the advanced beginner stage of Benner's Novice to Expert framework (1984) was the aim of this research. The purpose was to understand how new registered nurses (RN) survive and thrive in their first years of independent practice while balancing the need to provide high-quality, safe patient care. With extraordinary orientation costs and the currently high turnover rate for new nurses, hospitals are concerned about hiring new nurses and their stability, preparation, and ability to provide safe care to patients in the acute care setting. Fourteen new BSN graduate nurses participated in qualitative interviews and following grounded theory methodology of Strauss and Corbin (1990), the constant comparative method of analysis was used to discover the substantive theory of advancing in a new professional role. This theory emerged and claimed that as a new nurse transitioned during the orientation and post-orientation phases, they changed from a dependent to an independent practitioner through the processes of shaping, knowing, growing, and advancing. The consequences of these processes were connection to others, competence, self-confidence, and empowerment. These consequences lead to independent practice, progressive connoisseurship, refining awareness, and reaching for a higher potential. Facilitators of these processes are positive relationship, trust, respect, acceptance gaining experience, and support in the form of increasing responsibility, feedback, debriefing and continued resources. Barriers to these processes are negative interaction and unprofessionalism. Implications included nursing academia assuming greater responsibility to ensure professional role development, socialization, and professional role identity are introduced early to nursing students. Nursing practice needs to support preceptor development and selectively place new nurses with trained preceptors. There is a need for innovative collaborative programs and partnerships that bridge education to practice. Creative programs such as coaching programs are needed to provide extended support for new nurses practicing independently in the first 2-3 years of practice. These research findings support the nursing transition literature and deepen what is known about the advanced beginner stage of Benner's framework.

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