Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Health Science Honours


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Anthony Hussey

Second Advisor

Amanda Blackmore


The purpose of this study was to investigate new nurse graduates' perceptions of their preparedness to begin practice as registered nurses. The investigation included determining whether their perceptions changed over time and in which areas they perceived they were best and least prepared. A longitudinal descriptive survey design was used for this study. Two self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from all the students (79) who graduated with the Diploma of Health Science from Edith Cowan University at the end of Semester 1 for 1991. Of these, 34 new nurse graduates completed and returned both questionnaires. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The study findings revealed that there was no significant difference in the perceived 1 eve 1 of preparedness over time. It was also shown that the identified variables. familiarity of work environment, previous nursing experience, and allocation of a preceptor, did not influence the subjects' perceived level of preparedness to begin practice. However significant differences between the seven categories of the questionnaire were identified. Further analysis revealed the area of Carrying out Ward Procedures-Leadership as the area that the subjects felt least prepared in. with the areas of Interpersonal Relationships-Communications as the areas they felt best prepared in. The qualitative data corroborated the quantitative results. The statistical findings of this study together with the subjects' suggestions for change, tends to indicate the need for further research and review of nursing education programmes

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