Journal of Clinical Nursing
School of Nursing and Midwifery
AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To critically review contemporary transition theories to determine how they apply to the newly qualified graduate registered nurse programmes.
BACKGROUND: Graduate nurse transition to employment is the time of significant change which has resulted in high attrition rates. Graduates are often challenged by their expectation of nursing practice and the reality of the role. The transition from hospital-based training to university-based training has resulted in the need for primary employment to commence with graduate/orientation/internship programmes to help support new graduates transition into clinical practice. One transition model, Duchscher's stages of transition theory, utilised three former theories to develop a final model.
DESIGN: A narrative critical literature review.
METHOD: The theories selected for the review were Kramer's reality shock theory, Benner's novice to expert theory, Bridges transition theory and Duchscher's stages of transition theory.
CONCLUSION: Duchscher's stages of transition theory reflects the experiences of registered nursing transition into the workforce directly from university. The application of the theory is effective to guide understanding of the current challenges that new graduate nurse's experience today. There is a need for new graduates to complete their university degree as advanced beginners in order to decrease the experience of transition shock and keep pace with rapidly changing demands of the clinical environment. This may be achieved by increasing ward-based simulation in university education. A theoretical framework can provide a deep understanding of the various stages and processes of transition and enable development of successful programmes.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Both universities and hospitals need to adapt their current practice to align with the needs of new graduates due to large student numbers and ongoing systematic advancements to decrease the attrition rate.
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