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J Contin Educ Nurs. 2012 Dec;43(12):555-65. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20120904-29. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

The lived experience of new nurses: importance of the clinical preceptor.

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  • 1CNL Graduate Program, Harris College of Nursing, Texas Chrisain University, Fort Worth, Texas 76129, USA.



New nurse internships or residency programs represent one evidence-based strategy to increase new nurse recruitment and readiness for practice. This qualitative study examined the phenomenon of being a new nurse in an internship program and explored ways that concernful practices (Diekelmann & Diekelmann, 2009) present themselves in that program.


Heideggerian phenomenology was used to structure the study of seven nurse interns. Transcripts were made from audiotaped conversations of each new nurse and the primary investigator. Hermeneutic analysis was used to identify study themes across narratives. Sequential transcript analysis was used to connect individual excerpts to create a converging conversation of new nurses' lived internship experiences.


Three study themes defined the meaningfulness of the preceptor-new nurse relationship. A converging conversation of new nurse stories linked themes, concernful practices (patterns), and interpretation of the experience of being a new nurse in an internship program.


This study amplifies the importance of the new nurse-preceptor relationship that supports new nurses' transition to practice.

Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

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