Nursing faculty presents at national conference

Elizabeth Van Horn presented her research on the evaluation of competence in new graduate nurses at the 2022 National League for Nursing Education Summit in Las Vegas.

Elizabeth Van Horn, associate professor in the Department of Nursing recently presented a research poster titled “New Graduate Nurse Competence: Employers’ Perspectives” at the 2022 National League for Nursing Education Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her co-investigator is Lynne Lewallen, professor and associate dean of academic affairs at UNC-Greensboro. This work is part of their program of research exploring how competence is defined and evaluated in nursing education. The goal of this current study is to bridge the theory to practice gap by identifying how healthcare institutions define and evaluate competence in new nurses. Nursing education programs can use this knowledge to design curricula that facilitate successful transition to practice and enhance academic-practice partnerships.

In this study, Van Horn and Lewallen administered an online survey to 68 hospital nurse educators in 12 states and conducted 30 qualitative interviews with hospital education directors and nurse preceptors. Key components of nursing competence were identified and methods to evaluate competence in novice nurses were discussed. Major themes important to nurse competence included basic nursing care, seeing the big picture, communication and personal characteristics.

The NLN Education Summit is a national nurse educators conference attended by over 1,200 participants from 650 nursing programs across the United States. The annual conference includes presentations by prominent leaders in nursing education who discuss innovations in curricula and their impact on safe nursing practice and health care. Research and educational podium and poster presentations address topics important for the advancement of nursing education. This year the conference was held from Sept. 28-30 at the Mirage Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas.