Lived experience of new baccalaureate graduates whose education included the coach model of clinical education in an accelerated second degree nursing program
Bridges, Ruth Ann
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A current innovation in schools of nursing is the development of second degree accelerated baccalaureate program for students who have baccalaureate degrees in other areas. An innovative model for accelerated baccalaureate education involves the use of a coach for clinical experiences. Students are placed with Registered Nurses, called coaches, who have a baccalaureate degree or higher and at least two years of work experience in nursing. Students work with their coaches during the coaches' weekly schedule for medical-surgical experiences. New graduates from this program have emerged ready to assume nursing responsibilities for patient care without extensive orientations according to anecdotal data, however; there was little evidence in literature related to the coach model. The purpose of this study was to explore the possibility that having a coach in clinical education in a second degree accelerated nursing program affected the transition experience of new graduates of the program. The hermeneutic phenomenological method allowed insight into what the new graduates experienced, felt, sensed, and articulated about their experience through face to face interviews. Three themes emerged from the study: (1) Becoming independent, (2) Learning the culture, and (3) Relationship with the coach. The phenomenological research in this study provided insight into the lived experience of nursing students and new graduate nurses as they transitioned into the role of the professional nurse. The findings from this study emphasize the need to find innovative methods to prepare nurses for current healthcare needs. Further research should be conducted on innovative methods for nursing education to provide evidence for best practice in clinical education.