Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Martha V. Whetsell

Committee Members

C. Alicia Georges

Mario A. Kelly, EdD

Jacqueline Witter

Subject Categories



New graduate nurse, nurse residency program, transition, and work readiness


The transition of new graduate nurses from their roles as students to professional nurses is challenging. New graduate nurses have to complete cursory orientation with high performance expectations, increased level of accountability and meet the complex needs of the patients, leading to high turnover rates within the first year of practice.

To address this problem, nurse residency programs have been implemented to support new graduates with the transition into professional nursing. In addition to transitional support, new graduate nurses need to be ready to meet the demands of their new work environment. The problem is determining whether or not new graduate nurses entering the workforce possess work readiness. Addressing this gap in the literature, the purpose of this cross-sectional, causal comparative study is to examine the association between nurse residency programs and the work readiness of new graduates who are transitioning into practice. Therefore, by using Transitions Theory as a guiding framework, the aim was to reveal a nuanced understanding of the transition experiences of new graduate nurses.

This causal comparative study was based on a comparison of scores on the Work Readiness Scale for Graduate Nurses (WRS-GN), a valid and reliable tool, provided by two groups of new graduate nurses: those who completed a nurse residency program and those who did not. The comparison presented in this study provides evidence of the effectiveness of nurse residency programs for improving work readiness. The key findings suggest that of the four dimensions of work readiness (work competence, social intelligence, organizational acumen and personal work characteristics), social intelligence revealed a statistically significantly difference between the two groups of new graduate nurses. The implications of the study are factors that align with social intelligence should be used to increase work readiness of new graduate nurses in the future. Early recognition and appropriate interventions to reinforce interpersonal skills and social proficiencies may smooth the transition for new graduate nurses thereby improving retention rates for new nurses.

Key words: New graduate nurse, nurse residency program, transition, and work readiness

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