Pregraduation clinical training program improves clinical competence of nurse students in Taiwan: An interventional study

Shwu-Ru Liou, Hsiu-Min Tsai, Ching-Yu Cheng


Background: Recruiting and retaining new graduate nurses are high priorities for hospitals confronting nurse vacancy issues. However, new graduate nurses may not meet the professional entry-level expectations in providing safe patient-
care skills. The purposes of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of a nurse pregraduation clinical training program by measuring students’ clinical competency levels, from the students’ and the preceptors’ perspectives, and by analyzing students’ decision to continue working at the same hospital where they received their clinical practicum.

Methods: This study utilized a pretest-posttest design. In the developed training program, students practiced as a registered nurse under the supervision of a nurse preceptor for 208 hours. The Clinical Competence Questionnaire was used. The pregraduate participants (N=571) consisted of three cohorts of students who were completing their final semester of a RN-to-BSN program. The preceptors (N=203) responsible for the students also completed questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Kolmogrov–Smirnov test, the Wilcoxon signed-rank test, and one-way ANOVA.

Results: Students significantly increased their clinical competence after completing the training program. The preceptors generally rated the students with a high clinical competence score; however, the preceptors’ scores were lower than the students’ self-rated scores. The students’ satisfaction with their preceptors positively influenced their decision to remain working in the hospital or unit where they received the practicum.

Conclusion: New graduate nurses’ transition in employment demands continuing support from the hospital, especially from preceptors who mentor them. To maintain the retention rate of nurses, hospitals are encouraged to offer a formal education program to preceptors regarding proper methods of mentoring pregraduates.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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