Applied knowledge was observed among nurse groups from a medical-surgical residency program to measure clinical performance during simulation training. Twenty groups of new graduate nurses were observed during five simulated clinical scenarios, and their performances were scored on a 24-item checklist. Nurse groups showed significant improvement (p < 0.001) in applied knowledge in four clinical domains from week 1 to week 5, and the results provided valuable information of the groups' overall performances. In two of the five scenarios, poor decisions and prioritization of competing tasks were factors associated with lower performance group scores. Complex patient conditions may pose a challenge for new graduate nurses, and standardized training during the residency program may help instructors recognize specific factors to address during the transition from education to practice.
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