Effective patient safety education for novice RNs: A systematic review

MaryAnn Niemeyer


Background and objective: The need is great for identifying effective evidence-based strategies that focus on increasing novice RN confidence for the application of skills used to care for patients safely. The purpose of this systematic review is to explore effective continuing education strategies that target novice RNs’ professional development, enhance clinical confidence, and focus on patient safety.

Methods: The EBSCOhost database search was set to find recently published papers within the last ten years, sorted by relevance from January 2007 through August 2017. This search yielded twelve studies deemed eligible for inclusion by the databases CINAHL, Communication & Mass Media Complete, Education Full Text (H.W. Wilson), Health & Wellness Resource Center, and Science Direct. Commonalities and distinguishing features among the strategies are examined.

Results: This systematic review identified 12 articles that describe effective training strategies aimed at improving novice RNs’ clinical practice confidence and skill. A thematic analysis of the data was used to systematically gain knowledge about strategies used to educate novice RNs working in the hospital setting.  The majority of strategies employed a number of different types of simulation and reported varying degrees of success for improving novice RN ability to care for patients safely. Simulation, virtual reality, preceptored clinical experiences, and interdisciplinary experiences were found to be effective education strategies enhancing novice RN’s skill for providing safe care. Didactic instruction had positive results, but was not as effective as simulation for novice RNs learning safe patient care. Finally, written instruction was not as effective as simulation, and hard copy supplements provided no added value to novice RNs learning safe patient care.

Conclusions: Findings from this review are foundational to address calls from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the National League for Nursing (NLN) to reform and support post-graduate nursing education. The development of novel education and training targeting novice RNs in the hospital setting is essential, but more research is needed to enhance safe patient care.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v8n3p103

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press 
To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'Sciedupress.com' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.