Assessment of Recent Graduates Preparedness for Entry into Practice

Kathleen A. Cook, Mary Shirk Marienau, Bette Wildgust, Francis Gerbasi, Judith Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


To date no studies have been conducted to assess the preparedness of CRNA graduates for entry into practice by asking graduates and their respective employers to assess specific competencies. The purpose of this study was to assess recent graduates' preparation and performance. It was hypothesized recent graduates are prepared for entry into nurse anesthesia practice.This study was conducted between August 2011 and February 2012. An online survey tool was used to rate graduates' preparedness to perform 17 professional competencies. Surveys were distributed to 2,349 CRNAs who graduated in 2009 and 2,663 employers who hired recent graduates. A power of 90% for employers and 85% for graduates was obtained (P = .05). Analysis of a sample size of 148 matched graduate-employer pairs provided 88% power. Overall, 98%of the graduates and 97% of the employers indicated graduates were preparedfor practice. Of the 1,407 graduates assessed by employers, 1,343 (96%) would be hired again. Competencies identified as opportunities to enhance include administration of peripheral nerve blocks, insertion of central lines, insertion of pulmonary artery (PA) catheters, and chronic pain management techniques. The majority of employers rated these competencies as not applicable in their practice setting. Results suggest recent graduates are prepared and perform the competencies for entry into practice. While graduates and employers identified opportunities to enhance preparation it may not be sufficient to simply improve education without changing CRNA practice expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-346
Number of pages6
JournalAANA journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Graduates
  • Practice
  • Preparation
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical–Surgical
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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