Nurses’ Transition Period Literature Review

Literature Review

Different qualitative studies have been conducted with the aim of offering a better understanding of the challenges that nurses undergo during the transition period. Transition refers to the passing from one stage to another. In this case, the term ‘transition’ is used to refer to the passage from students to a registered nurse. The transition is an important process in ensuring and allowing the students to put into practice the skills they have acquired during the study period.

Practice-Theory Gap

Cheery (2016) conducted a longitudinal study that sought to shed more light on the existing gap in theory practice. More attention was placed on the bureaucratic processes and the corresponding impacts on the sharing of information. The study indicates that nursing problems are not just restricted to the United Kingdom but are also evident in other countries. While the transition to a nurse is subjective of the learning processes, it is worth noting that it can be overwhelming and subject the concerned persons to great levels of stress. Studies indicate that there is a huge gap between practice and theory. While the transition is crucial, Cherry (2016) infers that the process is marked by many challenges that affect the competency levels of nurses. During the transition process, nurses are exposed to different environments and often register some challenges in getting along with new members. The situation is common in settings where there is the failure to offer onboarding or clinical supervisions. Consequently, new nurses are exposed to a stressing environment and also find it challenging to execute complex tasks. Another common problem during the transition period is the lack of communication and leadership skills that are required to smoothly interact with diverse people. The transition from a learning nurse to a registered nurse requires that the concerned persons are adequately prepared to deal with the new environment and professional duties.

During the course of nursing duties, every nurse experiences a transition that sees an equal change in work descriptions, duties, and responsibilities. In the case of students, assuming complex and new nursing duties can be overwhelming. Contrary to the school settings where students are in a protected environment, working in hospital surroundings often comes with many pressures that may prove to stress many nurses. Cherry (2016) explains that nurses often lack the needed support services to go through transitions smoothly. The study indicates that many cases of nurse transitions are marked by stress and dissatisfaction levels. In extreme instances, some fresh nurses give up and quit their nursing jobs.

Walsh (2015) conducted a study that employed comparative and descriptive design that is equally accompanied by a questionnaire. The study sought to determine the nurse experiences in six months after graduating from nursing school. The objective of the study was to determine the stress that the nurses go through while working in acute care hospitals. The researchers developed the Case-Fink Nursing Graduate Experience; it was revised and piloted to effectively determine the nurses’ experiences. The nurses were evaluated during the first three months, after six months and after one year. There was an emphasis on determining whether there were similarities in skills and demographic factors.

The convenience sample of 300 nursing staffs was composed form six acute hospitals. The recruitment process was through an appeal to the nurses to take part in the study. There was the use of anonymous data collection procedures which helped uphold the privacy of the participants. The nurses were asked open-ended questions that gave them the opportunity to give their views. Some of the questions involved relationship with other peers, mastering organizational structure, communication, professionalism and confidence in executing their duties. The variety of the participants served as the primary strength of the study as it minimised chances of bias. However, there was a methodological limitation of the sample size as it was challenging to keep track of all persons in hospital settings. The findings of the study held that there is the need to address the topics during the orientation.

There have also been studies that employ the grounded theory methodology. Maben et al (2016) conducted a study that lasted eighteen months that sought to determine what happened to nurses during the transition period. The study had ten participants who had graduated from the same degree program. The study employed the demographic survey method of data collection as well as four interviews. The interviews were conducted at different stages to determine the progress of the nurses in their professions. The research found that the transition process is critical on boosting the confidence level of the new nurses.

It is on this basis that Cherry (2016) conducted a longitudinal study with the objective of exploring the theory-practice gap. The study employed non-probability sampling where n=36. The respondents were from different nursing fields and were required to have worked for at least five months. While one of the pre-qualification requirements was for the nurse to have worked for not less than five months, the post-qualification was ten months and above. There was the use of face-to-face interviews, thus allowing the interviewer to collect diverse data. The responses of the participants were transcribed and tape-recorded.

An analysis of the findings in Cherry (2016) study indicates that while

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