Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing Education

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Nursing

First Advisor

Julia Aucoin

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


The delivery of highly reliable health care is in jeopardy as many new graduate registered nurses (NGRNs) enter clinical roles under-prepared for demands of professional practice. Identifying and addressing challenges to safe practice early in the onboarding process were paramount for patient safety at a large Midwestern healthcare system (HCS). Post-hire and pre-practice Performance Based Development System (PBDS) assessments were administered to more than 7,600 NGRNs between January 2011 and December 2018. Only 19% of NGRNs demonstrated entry-level competencies and practice readiness; 26% were unsafe for novice independent practice. Data analysis revealed no differences in competence ratings by nursing degree or program type. Factors that drive or support NGRN competency (other than intelligence), such as Grit, defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, were unknown. Self-determination theory was used as the theoretical framework to underpin the study. This quantitative, non-experimental, correlational study sought to explore if there is a relationship between Grit, as measured by the original 12 item Grit scale (Grit-O), and initial competency of NGRNs based on PBDS assessment groupings of low, medium, and high competency to practice. The study used de-identified retrospective data collected as part of the onboarding process for NGRNs hired between July and December of 2018. The independent predictor variable was level of Grit as measured by the self-reported Grit-O scale. The dependent variable was initial competency/practice readiness as measured by PBDS. In data analysis, Grit was not a predictor of NGRN initial competence or practice readiness as measured by PBDS (p-value 0.77).




Grit, Initial competency, New graduate RN, Registered nurse



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