Nursing Publications


New Graduate Nurse Practice Readiness: Perspectives on the Context Shaping Our Understanding and Expectations

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Nursing Education Today





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Workforce shortages, fiscal restraint, complex healthcare organizations, increasing patient acuity, the explosion of knowledge and technology and the ever expanding role of nurses in healthcare have reinforced the importance of new graduates arriving in the work setting with the ability to move seamlessly into practice. This idea of moving seamlessly into practice is often referred to as practice readiness. Differing perspectives exist between nurses in the practice and education sector about the practice readiness of new graduates. The aim of this study was to understand the perspectives of nurses about new graduate nurse practice readiness and the underlying context shaping these perspectives. Focus groups involving 150 nurses with varying years of experience in the practice, education and regulatory sector were conducted. The findings revealed that participants' expectations and understandings of new graduate practice readiness were influenced by the historical and social context within which nursing education and professional practice is grounded. These differences centered around three main areas: the educational preparation of nurses (diploma or degree), the preparation of the technical versus the professional nurse, and the perceived responsibilities and accountabilities of the education and practice sector for the educational preparation of nurses. To shift the discourse around practice readiness, nurses from all sectors must focus on unique, innovative and cooperative solutions to ensure the seamless transition of all nursing graduates in the 21st century healthcare system.