Preparing nurses for practice: A phenomenological study of the new graduate in Australia

Kelly, Jennifer and Ahern, Kathryn J. (2009) Preparing nurses for practice: A phenomenological study of the new graduate in Australia. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18 6: 910-918. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02308.x

Author Kelly, Jennifer
Ahern, Kathryn J.
Title Preparing nurses for practice: A phenomenological study of the new graduate in Australia
Journal name Journal of Clinical Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-1067
Publication date 2009-03-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2008.02308.x
Volume 18
Issue 6
Start page 910
End page 918
Total pages 9
Editor Roger Watson
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Language eng
Subject 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
160809 Sociology of Education
130209 Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy
Formatted abstract
Aims. To explore the expectations of final year nursing students before they start employment and to describe the experiences of newly graduated nurses during their first six months of employment as registered nurses.

Nursing shortages are at crisis point world wide with registered nurses leaving the profession at a high rate and changing occupations. Thus, there is a need to reflect on new graduate nurses experiences in relation to retention and support.

Husserl’s phenomenological approach was used to gain insight and understanding into the lived experiences of new graduate nurses.

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing programme at an Australian University were interviewed in their final semester and during employment in the hospital setting. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data from 13 participants. Data were collected at three intervals: prior to commencing employment, one month and six months postemployment and the results were analysed thematically.

As students, the participants held positive perceptions surrounding their impending role as a registered nurse and what it would encompass. However, after one month of employment, it became apparent that nursing comprised of a culture that embraced cliques which excluded them. The graduates were unprepared for ‘bitchiness’ and the limited amount of assistance with unfamiliar tasks they received from registered nurses. Participants also found rotating to different wards recreated the feelings they experienced on commencing employment.

Conclusions. Nursing curricula should prepare new graduates for foreseeable stressors and oppressive practices so that graduates can become proactive in preventing and responding to factors such as silence and aggression. Moreover, nursing courses need to ensure that socialisation issues are addressed to assist in the eradication of oppressive practices. Finally, organisations need to address socialisation issues such as hostility within the workplace to address the attrition of new graduates from the profession. Relevance to clinical practice. Individuals in clinical practice settings need to be cognisant of the significant role that experienced registered nurses and nurse unit managers occupy in the socialisation of new graduate nurses. Additionally, there needs to be increased awareness that nursing culture can influence recruitment and retention of new graduates. Further, health care organisations need to evaluate the benefits of new graduates rotating through clinical areas in the first 12 months of employment.
Keyword Australia
nurse socialisation
nursing education
professional role
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Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 02 May 2009, 01:05:35 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work