Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Document Type

Project Paper


Zvart Onanian School of Nursing



Date of Original Version

May 2022


Background: New nurses are the major source of hiring for most hospitals. They fill vacancies left by seasoned nurses. As a result, an experience-complexity gap is created. The turnover of new graduate nurses is as high as 85% in the first two years of employment. A cycle of turnover has been created. Purpose/Specific Aims: The purpose of this study is to determine the most important factors contributing to turnover and the opportunities to mitigate or reduce turnover in the critical care setting. The specific aims are to evaluate the perceptions of the new graduate nurse and experienced nurses related to the transition to practice period and to evaluate the perception of all nurses’ health of the work environment. Methods: The AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool was distributed to all nurses permanently employed on four study units. The Casey Fink New Graduate Nurse Survey was distributed to all permanent nurses on the study units with less than one year of experience on the unit. The survey was in effect for three weeks during February 2022. Results: Nurses with less than two years’ experience note staffing, true collaboration, and meaningful recognition as elements of the work environment most challenging. New nurses indicated dissatisfaction with staffing, length of orientation, and multiple preceptors. Conclusion: This study has provided a more detailed understanding of the local practice environment related to the health of the work environment and the experiences of new nurses during their transition to practice.