The purpose of this study was to investigate the transition experience of new graduate nurses during their first work experience after graduating from a baccalaureate undergraduate nursing program. A case study approach was used to examine a community hospital in Connecticut. A random sample of baccalaureate prepared new graduate nurses who graduated in May 2007, and were in the first year of working as registered nurses, was chosen. The research question examined how new graduate nurses perceived the supports provided within their transition experience.
The study examined the supports through Benner’s (1982) developmental theory of nursing. The four supports included: support during orientation, support from experienced nurses, supports to develop time management skills and support from their undergraduate nursing education. The four research questions addressed each of these supports.
The study used three methods of data collection. Twelve new graduate nurses completed the quantitative survey, eight participated in the individual interview and four new graduate nurses participated in the focus group interview. The conclusions included the following: new graduate nurses were supported by the learning environment of the orientation; new graduate nurses perceived a supportive network was available to them within the hospital environment; time management skills are essential for the transition to entry nursing practice; new graduate nurses were assisted by their undergraduate school experiences during the transition period.
Recommendations for practice have implications for making new graduates successful in a nursing career. Hospital orientations should provide preceptors who encourage autonomy and are consistent and provide emotional support and need to provide support in the transition period by mentoring and encouraging guidance from experienced nurses. Hospitals also need to provide clinician guidance and organizational resources to assist with time management, and offer intern programs to students prior to graduation. Undergraduate nursing programs should incorporate more clinical time to help the new graduate nurse transition into nursing practice.
Recommendations for further research might involve a qualitative in-depth study regarding time management as well as an in depth case study examining new graduate nurses perceived level of support during the orientation period.
|Adviser||Karen I. Case|
|School||UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD|
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