Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type

Project – Full Written

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Tracy Arnold


Background: The crisis in the competency of newly licensed graduate nurses continues to grow despite the efforts of nursing academia. Transition to practice programs has improved new graduate attrition and narrowed the gap of practice readiness, but much of the responsibility to train graduate nurses falls on nurse preceptors. Many of these preceptors have minimal nursing experience and little to no training in fostering clinical judgment. Furthermore, nurse preceptors must balance providing care for their clients while also guiding novice nurses. They often do not have the time to provide the emotional support, real-time reflection, and timely feedback required to build the necessary confidence that new nurses need for success. Providing senior nursing students with tools to effectively communicate with their preceptors and advocate for their own learning may overcome some barriers to gaining the confidence needed for success as they begin their transition to the nursing role.

Method: This quality improvement project utilized a pretest-posttest design to determine if a self-advocacy training session, receiving email and text affirmations, and a group debriefing session increased the self-confidence of senior nursing students in communicating their learning needs and obtaining support from their preceptors. The project also included a self-advocacy training follow-up survey that used descriptive statistics to determine the effectiveness of the strategies used.

Results: A single-sample t-test compared the mean self-confidence pretest score to the mean self-confidence posttest score. A significant difference was found (t(18) = 10.4, p < 0.05. The self-confidence posttest score mean of 4.82 (sd = 0.04), was significantly greater than the self-confidence pretest score mean. All questions on the Self-Advocacy Follow-up Survey rated between 4.5 and 5, indicating that students found the self-advocacy training methods helpful.

Conclusion: The activities of the self-advocacy project may prove beneficial to include in senior-level students’ focused client care experience (FCCE) course to help students understand the challenges of their preceptors, improve assertive communication skills, and increase resiliency and emotional intelligence.

Recommendations: The activities proved beneficial to the students and should be considered for permanent implementation in the course. The project should be repeated to increase the number of participants, thus the reliability and validity, to determine the impact of the self-advocacy training to enhance self-confidence. Modifications should be made to class sequencing and delivery to improve the relevancy of the training materials to the senior nursing students.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Included in

Nursing Commons