Background: The transition from nursing student to graduate remains problematic internationally with issues arising concerning graduates’ work readiness upon commencing employment. Aim: This exploratory study specifically investigated perceptions of graduate nurse program coordinators on the work readiness of nursing graduates, with the aims of identifying strengths, weaknesses and challenges that exist. Design: Qualitative descriptive design. Methods: Sixteen graduate nurse program coordinators were interviewed from various healthcare services in the state of Victoria, Australia. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim and thematic analysis was used to disclose reoccurring themes and sub-themes. Findings: This paper reports on one theme, preparation readiness, and three sub-themes associated with this theme; clinical skills deficits, communication issues and transitioning as an enrolled nurse to a registered nurse. Conclusions: There are several areas of weaknesses and challenges for nursing graduates in their preparation for practice. As a poorly understood area, evidence from this study will inform curriculum development and transition programs, not only in Australia, but also internationally.
AIMS: To investigate job satisfaction and confidence levels of graduate nurses during their first year of employment and the impact various training programmes have on these factors. BACKGROUND: The transition from nursing student to practising nurse can be a challenging and stressful time for new nurses. Healthcare organizations provide transition programmes to support nurses through this vulnerable time and to assist in increasing graduates' job satisfaction and retention rates. However, no systematic review of transition programme outcomes has been undertaken to determine the impact of these programmes on improving satisfaction levels and on easing the challenges faced by nursing graduates in their new roles as Registered Nurses. DESIGN: Systematic review of effect using narrative synthesis. DATA SOURCES: Quantitative studies published between 2000-December 2012 were identified using electronic databases and reference lists and by searching 'grey literature'. Primary search terms were 'new graduate nurse' and 'transitional programmes'. REVIEW METHODS: The three authors, guided by standardized procedures, performed independent, blinded data extraction and quality assessment. RESULTS: From 338 studies initially identified, eleven studies were included in this review. These studies used a variety of study designs including quasi-experimental and pre- and posttesting. CONCLUSION: Evidence suggests that transition programmes are necessary in creating working environments that support new nurses in the clinical environment and this is demonstrated by increased job satisfaction and retention rates. However, optimum programme length and structure are unclear.