To explore the experiences of graduate nurses enrolled in a transition program, to gain insight into what graduates experienced as beneficial, as barriers and to seek meaning to the phenomena of transition as experienced within a transition program.
A graduate nurse’s transition to professional practice is a time of high emotion where graduates leave the familiar grounds of university for the unknown of professional practice. Numerous studies, spanning many decades, have investigated issues regarding transition leading to the development of transition programs to aid the recognised burden.
The researchers used principles of hermeneutic phenomenology to explore the language used in semi-structured interviews of seven graduate nurses undertaking a Transition to Professional Practice Program in an Australian metropolitan hospital to investigate the lived experiences of transition within a transition program.
Thematic analysis of transcribed interviews revealed that transition from student to professional is a time of many new demands that causes shock and can lead to negative emotions. However, many constructive responses and positive emotions were also present. These responses included positive feelings in the care of patients and of support received by graduates from dedicated educators linked to the transition program and by senior nurses on the ward.
Transition to practice is an important stage in the career of a Registered Nurse and the transition issues related by graduate nurses in this study corresponded with issues raised in similar transition literature suggesting that continued work is required. However, the benefits of dedicated staff in aiding transition as expressed by the participants of this study is a positive affirmation of the advantages of graduates being enrolled in a transition program.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Collegian
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- From novice to expert.1st ed. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Menlo Park, California1984
- Transition shock: the initial stage of role adaptation for newly graduated Registered Nurses.Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2009; 65: 1103-1113https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04898.x
- From surviving to thriving.1st ed. Nursing the Future, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan2012
- Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches.4th ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California2014
- Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among the five approaches.2nd ed. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California2007
- The Enculturation of our nursing graduates.Contemporary Nurse. 2001; 11: 84-94
- Hermeneutics: An exploration?.Nurse Researcher. 2004; 11: 30-39
- Graduate registered nurse practice readiness in the Australian context: An issue worthy of discussion.Collegian. 2012; 20: 233-238
- Study of Victorian early graduate programs for nurses and midwives appendices.Taylor Nelson Sofres Social Research, Hawthrone, Victoria2012
- ‘What matters to graduates': An evaluation of a structured clinical support program for newly graduated nurses.Nurse Education in Practice. 2015; 15: 225-231https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nepr.2015.01.009
- Preparing nurses for practice: a phenomenological study of the new graduate in Australia.Journal of Clinical Nursing. 2009; 18: 910-918
- Reality shock: Why nurses leave nursing.1st ed. Mosby, St Louis, U.S.A1974
- Components and strategies of nurse residency programs effective in new graduate socialization.Western Journal of Nursing Research. 2013; 35: 566-589
- A review of graduate nurse transition programs in Australia.The Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing. 2005; 23: 40-45
- Fitting in: a pervasive new graduate nurse need.Nurse Education Today. 2011; 31: 488-493
- Ways of being: preparing nursing students for transition to professional practice.Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 2016; 47: 330-340
- In-depth interviewing.3rd ed. 2008
- Graduate nurse program coordinators’ perspectives on graduate nurse programs in Victoria, Australia : A descriptive qualitative approach.Collegian. 2016; 23: 201-208
- Australian new graduate experiences during their transition program in a rural/regional acute care setting.Contemporary Nurse. 2012; 41: 242-252
- Qualitative evaluation and research methods.3rd ed. Sage Publication, California2002
- A secondary data analysis examining the needs of graduate nurses in their transition to a new role.Nurse Education in Practice. 2014; 14: 106-111
- The theory of organisational socialisation and its potential for improving transition experiences for new graduate nurses?.Nurse Education Today. 2015; 35: 118-124
- New graduate nurse transition programs: relationships with bullying and access to support.Contemporary Nurse. 2014; 48: 219-228
- SA Health 2017 Transition to Professional Practice Program (TPPP) for registered nurses.South Australian Department of Health, 2016 (Retrieved from)
- Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedgogy.The Althouse Press, University of Western Ontario, Canada1990
- The exploration of the lived experience of the graduate nurse making the transition to registered nurse during the first year of practice?.Journal for Nurses in Professional Development. 2009; 25: 28-34
Published online: September 26, 2017
Accepted: September 14, 2017
Received in revised form: September 9, 2017
Received: January 19, 2017
© 2017 Australian College of Nursing Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd.