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J Prof Nurs. 1997 Mar-Apr;13(2):110-23.

Utilizing narrative inquiry to evaluate a nursing doctorate program professional residency.

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School of Nursing, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, USA.


Because the University of Colorado (CU) School of Nursing Nursing Doctorate (ND) Program initiated an innovative nursing educational reform, emerging program evaluation challenges were addressed to ensure successful implementation and program quality. The study's purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness of the ND professional clinical residency (fourth and final year) from the students' perspectives. Therefore, this evaluation was exploratory and inductive to focus on the primary questions: "How does one become an ND nurse during the residency?" (process) and "What is an ND nurse?" (outcome). Additionally, an explanation of how interactive processes affected residency experiences was addressed. The narrative inquiry framework made available a special access to the human experiences of time, order, and change during the residency process. Ten students in the first CU ND Program residency participated. Narrative data for qualitative analysis were obtained from students' monthly written vignettes and verbal sharing of their clinical experiences during conferences. Vignette formats directed students to describe significant residency experiences and share reflections on the events. One finding suggested that students' formative progression through the residency occurred in four phases similar to cognitive development theories. Additional findings confirmed students' growth toward and summative attainment of ND outcome behaviors, including holistic clinical proficiency, client advocacy, and promotion of professional growth for colleagues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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