Entry into nursing: An ethnographic study of newly qualified nurses taking on the nursing role in a hospital setting

Author(s)

Publication date

2012

Series/Report no

Nursing Research and Practice;2012(ID 690348 )

Publisher

Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Document type

Abstract

The transition from student to working nurse has long been recognized as challenging. This paper presents the findings of research into the opportunities and limitations encountered by newly qualified nurses when taking on the nursing role. The study had an ethnographic design. Observation, interviews, and document analysis were used to gain insight into nurses' daily work from the perspective of recently graduated nurses. Thirteen nurses were monitored closely during their first year in a hospital setting in Norway. These new nurses generally entered the field with empathy for their patients, enthusiasm for the profession, and readiness to learn more about being a good nurse. However, their more experienced colleagues seemed to neither respect nor nurture this attitude. The new nurses experienced heavier responsibilities than expected, fragmentation of patient care, and stressful interactions with colleagues. The lack of a supportive work environment and role models increased the new nurses' experience of overwhelming responsibility in their daily work situations. The nurses learned to cope the hard way, despite the organizational culture, not because of it. Adjusting the profession's expectations of new nurses, and offering good role models and more comprehensive support programmes, would markedly ease the transition for new nurses

Keywords

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/1342