Examining Nurses’ Perceptions of Hospital Orientations and Their Transition to Practice
Background: Annually, new nurses transition from the role of student to registered nurse as they enter the workforce. These nurses have described feelings of stress and anxiety about ‘absolutely everything’. To identify and address factors that facilitate and enhance successful transitions into the workforce, it is vital to understand the perceptions of these new nurses during their orientation and transition periods. While researchers have examined these experiences, previous methodological limitations have left gaps where further analysis is required. Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe new nurses’ perceptions of their hospital orientation and subsequent transition in their first two years of practice after graduating from an undergraduate nursing program. Methods: Within an interpretive paradigm, a descriptive, exploratory, qualitative methodology was used to conduct semi-structured interviews. Eight RNs who graduated from an undergraduate nursing program and completed a hospital orientation within the past two years were interviewed using a secure, online video conferencing platform. Results: New nurses highlighted the value and importance of the following themes during their orientation and transition into practice: authentic leadership, workplace empowerment, support for professional practice, person-job fit, new graduate support, demographics, psychological capital, and incivility. New insight into this population showed themes such as the use of technology, physical health, patient impact, and support from family and friends to be important during their orientation and transition. Conclusions: The interview discussions were about leaders in healthcare, preceptors, education, well-being, patient safety, and support for practice. These results aid in identifying and addressing some of the shortcomings experienced by new nurses. This research has significant implications for both nursing education, practice, and future research. It impacts the undergraduate nursing curriculum with the goal to better prepare nursing students for their transitions into practice. Additionally, conclusions could help to develop more encompassing orientation programs in Canadian hospitals.