American Journal of Nursing Research
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American Journal of Nursing Research. 2021, 9(3), 94-105
DOI: 10.12691/ajnr-9-3-4
Open AccessLiterature Review

Newly Graduate Registered Nurses’ Experiences of Transition to Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review

Fatmah Kreedi1, , Michael Brown1, Lynne Marsh1 and Katherine Rogers1

1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queens University Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK

Pub. Date: April 09, 2021

Cite this paper:
Fatmah Kreedi, Michael Brown, Lynne Marsh and Katherine Rogers. Newly Graduate Registered Nurses’ Experiences of Transition to Clinical Practice: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Nursing Research. 2021; 9(3):94-105. doi: 10.12691/ajnr-9-3-4


New graduate registered nurses encounter many difficulties such as unexpected role, stress and lack of support. Therefore, many of them consider leaving their nursing roles. This systematic review aims to explore the experiences of newly graduate registered nurses about the transition from student nurse to graduate nurse in clinical practice. A qualitative systematic review was conducted using inclusion and exclusion criteria and PRISMA guideline. Twenty-three studies are included in the review and analysed using thematic analysis. The four researchers managed quality appraisal and data extraction. Of 23 studies included in the review, 22 were qualitative studies, and one was mixed methods. Following the thematic analysis, four themes were identified: (i) the impact of the undergraduate experience (ii) mental stress and coping strategies (iii) Existing knowledge of organizational support and (iv) professional accountability and competency. Findings show that newly graduate registered nurses experience high levels of turnover due to work stress, lack of support and inadequate undergraduate preparation. The successful transition is influenced by educational preparation, hospital orientation, and organizational support. Further research is required to explore the experiences of newly graduate registered nurses in developing countries, as there is limited research, which has considered nursing education, healthcare facilities, and cultural influences in these countries. New graduate registered nurses play a significant role in the provision of patient care and enhancing patient safety. This review explored their experiences about the transition from student to registered nurses to recommend comprehensive practical guidelines to support their involvement in patient safety and to provide insight for nurse’s leaders to understand the retention issues for new nurses. In addition to helping undergraduate nursing education programs to improve their strategies in preparing graduates for entry into professional practice.

newly graduate registered nurse stress turnover support systematic review

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