Challenges of fresh nursing graduates during their transition period

Sze Wing Julia Wong, Wing Sze Wincy Che, Man Ting Crystal Cheng, Ching Ki Cheung, Tsz Yau Jasmin Cheung, Ka Yan Lee, Kin Chi So, Sin Lung Yip


Objective: The shortage of nurses is an overwhelming problem worldwide. Numerous studies indicate that fresh nursing graduates encounter many challenges in their first year after graduation. These difficulties affect their psychological health and influence their perseverance which results in a high resignation rate. Hong Kong is not an exceptional case; therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the challenges encountered by fresh nursing graduates during the transition period in order to provide insights to academics and clinical administrators in order to facilitate the transition and alleviate the negative impacts, thus increasing the retention rate.

Methods: This was a qualitative study and eight new nursing graduates (M = 4; F = 4) from the same local higher education institute were interviewed individually. Thematic coding was used to analyse the data.

Results: Finally, nine themes were identified including eight areas of challenges and one common attribute. Workload, lack of knowledge, communication, expectation, change of role, working atmosphere, support and a blame/complaint culture are the common areas of challenges that they encounter in the transitional period. Furthermore, this study also found that new nursing graduates possess a common attribute, i.e. positive personal attitude which seems able to enhance their perseverance in this period.

Conclusions: The identified themes are interrelated and all the stakeholders should join together and form a cycle of continuous improvement in order to improve the nursing programme and clinical supports to the fresh nursing graduates. 

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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