Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this investigation is to determine significant differences in clinical competency ratings of ADN and BSN graduates, who are within the initial three to twelve months after registered nurse licensure and who are working full-time in Colorado hospitals.;The sample population consisted of 90 new ADN and 143 BSN graduates in 35 Colorado hospitals.;It was hypothesized that the retrospective clinical performance evaluations by the head nurses, using the Slater Nursing Competencies Rating Scale, would show significant differences between clinical competency ratings of the sample of beginning ADN and beginning BSN graduates within three to twelve months after licensure as registered nurses when they were: (1) meeting the psychosocial needs of individual patients; (2) meeting the psychosocial needs of patients as members of a group; (3) meeting the physical needs of patients; (4) meeting either the psychosocial or physical needs of patients or both at the same time; (5) communicating with other health team members on behalf of the patients; (6) fulfilling professional responsibilities in care given to patients that reflect initiative and responsibility indicative of professional expectations; and (7) evaluated in terms of overall clinical competency.;Results indicate that the new BSN graduates, who were evaluated retrospectively by the head nurses, displayed greater clinical competency than the new ADN graduates. Level of education appears to make a difference in the clinical performance of the new graduates within the first year of clinical experience (p < .05).



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