Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Research Abstract with Commentary: Value of Nurse Internships

Abstract: New Graduate Transitioning: Necessary or Nice?

This study investigated the influence of personal factors, orientation, continuing education, and staffing shortage on the satisfaction, intent to leave their job, and intent to leave the profession of a random sample of new graduate nurses from varied facilities and geographic locations. It further examined the influence of personal factors and orientation on turnover rates among new graduate nurses. The findings indicate that orientation programs are essential to the retention and satisfaction of new graduate nurses. Given current economic constraints, this study supports nurse executives' ability to advocate for and receive funding for transition-to-work programs as well as the placement of new graduate nurses in well-staffed units.

Scott, E. S., Engelke, M. K., & Swanson, M. (2008). New graduate transitioning: Necessary or nice? Applied Nursing Research, 21, 75-83.

Commentary by Dana N. Rutledge, RN, PhD, Nursing Research Facilitator

This timely study begins to fill a gap in nursing literature related to what factors can predict new graduate job and career satisfaction as well as actual job turnover. A well developed framework predicts that (a) anticipatory socialization (characteristics of education, experience, and expectations) can predispose or protect the new graduate from reality shock, and (b) organizational socialization (things that happen to the new nurse in the first two years of nursing such as orientation, unit culture, staffing) can enhance or inhibit work adjustment. The outcomes of job and career satisfaction, intent to stay, turnover can be predicted by factors within each of these two categories.

Using already collected data (this is called secondary analysis) from a random sample of North Carolina new graduates (< 2 years from graduation from initial RN program), researchers evaluated how this model worked with 329 nurses. They adequately described the variables they used, and ran multiple analyses to look for relationships in the model. One of the drawbacks of using already collected data is that not all factors the researchers wanted to evaluate were measured, and some that were measured contained “missing” data. However, they were able to draw several important conclusions.

Besides the finding reported in the abstract (above), the following were reported:
· Among new nurses, 54% were dissatisfied with their current job, 55% had already left one job, however, 71% were satisfied with nursing as a career.
· Orientation offered to these nurses ranged from < 1 week to 1 year (huge variability!!). The quality and quantity of orientation were associated with turnover (better/longer predictive of less turnover).
· The strongest predictor of job satisfaction was frequency of staffing shortage on a unit. Nurses reporting weekly shortages were 6 X more likely to be dissatisfied than those with less shortages.

These findings point to the need to give our new graduates the most satisfying orientation possible, and that longer orientation lengths may contribute to job satisfaction, and subsequent retention.


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mevrabel said...

The current (October 2008) issue of Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing has the CNE article "A Process of Becoming: The Stages of New Nursing Graduate Professional Role Transition."

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