Transition experiences of newly qualified registered graduate nurses employed in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Renee McKenzie, Susan Miller, Vicki Cope, Gabrielle Brand

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2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Objective: To explore the experiences of newly qualified registered graduate nurses’ clinical and professional learning experiences, during their first six-months of post registration employment within a graduate nurse transition program in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Method: Narrative inquiry with thematic analysis was used to explore the newly qualified registered graduate nurses’ accounts via semi-structured interviews, conducted between January 2018 – January 2019, of their clinical and professional learning during their employment in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Setting: In total, eight newly qualified registered graduate nurses employed at two Western Australian Hospitals sites were recruited. Findings: Themes identified included: feeling unprepared; experiences of horizontal violence; the need for a supportive structural environment and seeking feedback. Participants reported overwhelming feelings of stress, emotional exhaustion, concerns for patient safety and for some, fear of early career burnout. Conclusion: In this study, newly qualified registered graduate nurses were clinically underprepared for entering a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with all participants reporting high levels of psychosocial distress. This was further compounded by a lack of structured support, horizontal violence, and inadequate or no regular feedback from preceptors, resulting from a negative workplace culture and poor educator behaviours. Recommendations for improving the experiences of newly qualified registered graduate nurses employed in the Neonatal Intensive Care are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103112
JournalIntensive and Critical Care Nursing
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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