Document Type

Presentation - Oral - to academic peers, less than or equal to 1 hour

SNAP To It! New Graduates Transition to the Real World of Nursing



Date of Activity

Fall 9-29-2022


Purpose and Aims: To determine if a pre-licensure transition to practice program, the Student Nurse Assistant Program (SNAP) eased role transition from nursing student to a licensed working RN in their first year on the job.

Description, Background and Significance: NGNs can experience “reality shock” during the transition from nursing student to NGN. SNAP hires high-functioning students from a University based undergraduate BS nursing program in a nursing assistant role to socialize them to the organization as prospective employees, and create a steady pipeline of nursing assistants for a large suburban medical center.

Methodology: A 12-question structured interview was conducted with 20 newly hired NGNs that participated in SNAP as students. Interviews were done one-on-one by phone ranging from 10-15 minutes and were recorded. Recordings were transcribed and evaluated for themes.

Findings: Interviewees participated in SNAP for at least one year. Eighteen out of 20 interviewees said that participating in SNAP eased their transition to practice by helping them to gain familiarity with their unit staff and workflow. They liked the flexibility of choosing when to work and liked working while going to school. Spending a longer time caring for patients compared to their nursing school clinicals was seen as an advantage. Interviewees felt more empowered, organized, and adept at interacting with patients. All interviewees would recommend the SNAP program to current students and would advise them to work hard because their performance could lead to the job they want after graduation.

Implications for nursing: Transition from nursing student to working RN can be a difficult adjustment. Our academic-service partnership simultaneously provides needed nursing assistant personnel to a large hospital while providing paid exposure to potential future work setting opportunities for nursing students. Pre-licensure programs like SNAP could lead to greater retention of new graduate nurses.

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