• A Survey of DNP Students’ Perceived Level of Practice Preparedness and Desire for a Post-Graduate Fellowship

      Buchner, Brian; Dunn, Matthew; McRee, Laura; Estrada, Nicolette (The University of Arizona., 2019)
      An aging population and increasingly complex healthcare system create significant demands on nurse practitioners (NP) to provide comprehensive, safe patient-centered care; a hallmark of NP practice. However, with the increasing demands on NP’s, entering into practice as a newly graduated NP can create significant stress during this important transition period. In recognition of these important professional transition periods, the nursing profession has adapted in order mentor newly graduated RN’s into practice by creating RN residency programs, demonstrating higher rates of retention and accelerated pathways to practice competence. Unfortunately, the transition period for NP’s into professional practice, regardless of specialization, have largely gone unrecognized and unstudied. At the time of this DNP project, there are only a limited amount of available post-graduate “fellowship” opportunities in the United States. The purpose of this DNP project was to identify NP’s across all specialties perception of their preparedness to enter into professional practice and gain insight into their desire for further post-graduate training, referred hereafter as fellowship. The DNP project demonstrated that NP’s view their transition into practice as a major life event- considered a discrete experience that is disrupting to an individual’s activities that cause substantial change and readjustment - and believe that a post-graduate fellowship would provide valuable training and mentorship during their first year into practice. Furthermore, the project identified that over half of the 17 graduates who participated in the survey feel only “somewhat” prepared to enter practice after completing their respective NP program. This provides good insight on how to further improve upon clinical training in both academic programs and explore more opportunities to provide fellowship training to novice nurse practitioners.