New Graduate Nurses Perceived Level of Support During the First Year as a Professional Nurse

New Graduate Nurses Perceived Level of Support During the First Year as a Professional Nurse

Author: 
Alexis Best-Rhodes
Program of study: 
Ph.D./NUR
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore and understand the lived experience of new graduate baccalaureate-prepared nurses during the first year as professional nurses. The nurse’s experiences after completing an orientation program and worked on a unit for approximately one year was explored. How the new graduate nurses perceived the support provided during the transition phase, and what contexts and situations influenced the experience was also explored using Benner’s (1984) Novice to Expert theory as the theoretical framework. Seven new graduate baccalaureate prepared nurses employed within the Cone Health System were interviewed using face-to-face open-ended questions. The analysis of the data occurred by using transcribed notes and NVivo 10 software. Two categories and three subcategories emerged from the data. The emerging themes were supportive transition period, precepted academy program, and three subcategories: conversation time, safe environment, and staff support. Findings from this study have the potential to provide important insights for the hospital where the nurses received the orientation, and can provide a basis on which to improve the professional development efforts. Findings may also assist this hospital to plan programs for new graduate nurses by providing new graduates with the education, skills, and support needed to reduce workplace stress and role strain, and encourage retention. Data gathered from this study can serve as an effective guide for future studies that focus on best practices for new nurse transition and retention. The results may also contribute to the existing body of scholarship on the transition of student nurses into the workplace.
Dedication: 
This dissertation is dedicated to my husband Jamille, my children Lloyd and Tyreese, my mother Sylvia Carlton, and my sister Latoya DaCosta. My family was very supportive and encouraging. My husband was my rock throughout this entire process. I also dedicate this dissertation to my late father Harold Best who told me at an early age that I was going to be a doctor. I would also like to thank my dissertation chair Dr. Nelson, my committee members Dr. Richins and Dr. Armitage for their guidance and support.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge the contributions from my dissertation chair Dr. Nelson, and committee members Dr. Richins and Dr. Armitage for their guidance. I would also like to acknowledge the nurses who took the time out of their busy schedule to sit through the interviews. The dissertation is possible because of the nurses who were willing to participate in the study.