Qualitative study of Enrolled Nurses transition to Registered Nurses

Authors

  • Katrina Cubit,

    1. Katrina Cubit RN BN PhD MRCNA Innovation Coordinator Learning & Development Unit, Calvary Health Care ACT, Bruce, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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  • Violeta Lopez

    1. Violeta Lopez RN PhD FRCNA Professor and Director Research Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Practice, Medical School, Australian National University Woden, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
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K. Cubit: e-mail: Katrina.Cubit@calvary-act.com.au

Abstract

cubit k. & lopez v. (2012) Qualitative study of Enrolled Nurses’ transition to Registered Nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing68(1), 206–211.

Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study which aimed to explore the transition experiences of graduate Registered Nurses (RN) who had previously practised as Enrolled Nurses.

Background.  The literature suggests that graduate RN who have previously practised as Enrolled Nurses (EN) have specific support needs during their first year of clinical practice.

Methods.  A qualitative descriptive study using focus group interviews was undertaken in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia in 2009. Eight graduate nurses (GN) were interviewed 1 week after the graduate nurses programme (GNP) had commenced and five GN at the middle and four GN at the end of the programme. Content analysis of the transcribed data was used to explicate themes.

Results.  Three main categories were identified from the data: stepping out of their comfort zone, being taken advantage of and needing support like any other new RN. The GN pleaded that they need to be treated as any other new nurses undertaking the graduate nurse programme and for staff to forget that they used to be Enrolled Nurses.

Conclusion.  Registered Nurses who had previously practised as Enrolled Nurses preferred not to be identified as having previous nursing experience as they feared being treated by their nurse managers as already capable of practicing as RN when in fact they needed support similar to any new graduate.

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