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Exploration of the graduate nursing program in a forensic mental health setting: A qualitative enquiry

  • Tessa Maguire
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author. Tel.: + 61 3 9214 3887
    Affiliations
    Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road, Alphi, Melbourne, Victoria 3078 Australia

    Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), Yarra Bend Road Fairfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3078, Australia
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  • Jo Ryan
    Affiliations
    Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), Yarra Bend Road Fairfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3078, Australia
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  • Rebecca Lofts
    Affiliations
    Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), Yarra Bend Road Fairfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3078, Australia
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  • Daveena Mawren
    Affiliations
    Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road, Alphi, Melbourne, Victoria 3078 Australia

    Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare), Yarra Bend Road Fairfield, Melbourne, Victoria 3078, Australia
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  • Margaret Nixon
    Affiliations
    Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road, Alphi, Melbourne, Victoria 3078 Australia
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  • Brian McKenna
    Affiliations
    Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science, Swinburne University of Technology, Level 1, 582 Heidelberg Road, Alphi, Melbourne, Victoria 3078 Australia

    Auckland University of Technology and the Auckland Regional Forensic Psychiatry Services, 55 Wellesley Street East, Auckland CBD, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
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      Abstract

      Background

      Forensic mental health nursing is a specialised practice area. Graduate programs are essential for recruitment and retention. There have, however, been very few studies exploring forensic mental health graduate programs.

      Aim

      The aim of this study was to explore the experience of graduate nurses who completed a 2-year graduate program in a forensic mental health service in the state of Victoria Australia, and the nurses who support the graduates in the program.

      Methods

      An exploratory study was conducted gathering data via one-to-one interviews, with purposive sample of 20 forensic mental health nurses.

      Findings

      Analysis resulted in the interpretation of two themes; essential ingredients and ‘hitting hurdles’.

      Discussion

      Graduate nurses commence with limited knowledge, experience challenges, and organisational pressures.

      Conclusion

      Transition to practice was enhanced with consistent support, university education, and program structure.

      Keywords

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