Aim: To explore the expected and achieved competency levels of new graduate nurses.
Background: There are global concerns about a perceived disconnect between the educational preparation of new graduates and the expectations of employers about their work readiness. It is important to understand competency levels expected and achieved of new graduate nurses.
Method(s): The study was conducted in three phases: the identification of competencies, development of a survey instrument and exploration of levels of competency from the perspectives of key stakeholders.
Results: New graduates were well prepared for demonstrating respect to patients, but needed to be closely supported when providing emergency care. Results highlighted that new graduates felt less competent than graduating students in those competencies related to legal and ethical practice. Importantly, expectations about new graduates’ competency varied between educators and managers.
Conclusion(s): The findings provide important information about new graduates’ competency levels, revealing a mismatch in the perception of key stakeholders about competency levels. This has important implications for building new graduates readiness for practice and highlights the importance of collaboration between key stakeholders to address competency gaps. Implications for Nursing Management: Supportive opportunities should be provided to new graduate nurses to fill gaps in beginner competency.