Senior nurse role expectations of graduate registered and enrolled nurses on commencement to practice

Document Type

Journal Article


CSIRO Publishing


School of Nursing and Midwifery / Centre for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Services Research




Jacob, E. R., McKenna, L., & D'Amore, A. (2014). Senior nurse role expectations of graduate registered and enrolled nurses on commencement to practice. Australian Health Review, 38(4), 432-439. Available here.


Objective: This paper reports on a project to examine the expectations of senior nurses regarding graduate roles of registered and enrolled nurses educated in Victoria, Australia. Methods: Participants completed an online survey to indicate whether predetermined competencies were in the roles of graduate enrolled or registered nurses or not in the role of either nurse. Chi-squared analysis was used to identify differences between participant groups. Results: Participants expressed variations in role expectations for the different level of graduate nurse. Although basic nursing care was undertaken by both graduate enrolled and registered nurses, no specific role was identified for enrolled nurses. Differences were found in the opinions of senior nurses over the roles of graduate nurses, demonstrating considerable variation in expectations. Management, education and research roles were not identified as the role of either nurse on graduation. Differences were found in the expectations of the different senior nurse groups regarding the roles of the enrolled nurse, particularly in the new skills taught in the enrolled nurse diploma program. Conclusions: Confusion exists regarding the roles of both types of nurse on graduation. Further research across Australia is required to clarify the roles of the different level of nurse in different practice contexts.



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