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Practice Readiness in very remote hospitals: Perceptions of early career and later career registered nurses

  • Kerry-Ann Wilcox
    Affiliations
    Discipline of Nursing, College of Science, Health, Engineering & Education, Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia
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  • Vicki Cope
    Affiliations
    Discipline of Nursing, College of Science, Health, Engineering & Education, Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia
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  • Melanie Murray
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: 270 Joondalup Dr, Joondalup, Western Australia, 6027, Australia. Tel.: +61 8 63047172.
    Affiliations
    Discipline of Nursing, College of Science, Health, Engineering & Education, Murdoch University, 90 South St, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia

    School of Nursing & Midwifery, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Dr, Joondalup, Western Australia, 6027, Australia
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      ABSTRACT

      Aim

      To understand the practice readiness of the early career registered nurse in their first five years of practice within very remote hospital healthcare provision.

      Background

      The practice readiness of early career registered nurses is often questioned; this is particularly true of nurses in rural and remote settings where, due to a transitory workforce, adequate support may not be forthcoming.

      Method

      Qualitative descriptive design using semi-structured interviews involving early career (n = 4) and later career (n = 3) registered nurses in very remote hospitals. Data were analysed using Creswell's six-step approach to thematic analysis.

      Findings

      Practice readiness includes both professional and personal readiness. Early career registered nurse participants felt not ready for remote area employment. Later career registered nurses suggest that critical care placements in an emergency department or intensive care unit are necessary for preparedness to work in rural and remote areas. Key to supporting and developing practice readiness is organisational support, adequate, consistent staffing, and structured orientation across all departments.

      Discussion

      Early career registered nurses understand their limitations; however, organisational support through appropriate orientation, supernumerary time, and adequate education is often not available.

      Conclusion

      To support early career registered nurses to be practice ready, it is the organisation's responsibility to provide the adequate support, information, and preparatory education to ensure an effective transition to practice for future proofing of the rural and remote nurse workforce.

      Keywords

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