Aims and objectives. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of the transition process of new nurses in Taiwan.
Background. The transition period for new nurses can be a daunting and traumatic experience. The large number of newly graduated Taiwanese nurses who resign from their jobs within three months indicates that this process can be complicated. However, the problems associated with the experiences of new nurses have not yet been recognised.
Design. We adopted a phenomenological design using focus group interviews.
Methods. Sixteen new nurses (less than one year working experience) participated in eight weekly group interviews lasting two hours each to grasp their experience of ‘being new’. Interview data were analysed according to Sloan’s (2002) three moments, and the whole process of analysis followed the suggestions of Agar (1986), which was performed in a close collaboration between researchers until the consensus about the findings could be reached.
Results. The overarching pattern of the transition process of new nurses becoming experienced members of the clinical nursing team was revealed as a journey of ‘struggling to be an insider’. This phenomenon was characterised by four themes, including (1) ‘being new as being weak’, (2) ‘masking myself’, (3) ‘internalising the unreasonable’ and (4) ‘transforming myself to get a position’.
Conclusions. While Western culture view abusive indoctrination of new nurses as toxic behaviour, under the Chinese traditions of yield, tolerance and self-oppression, following the power hierarchy and seeking harmony, the transition of new nurses is interpreted differently.
Relevance to clinical practice. Recognition of the journey of ‘struggling to be an insider’ helps nurse administrators to (1) gain a better understanding of what new nurses encounter in their transition process, (2) help new nurses without harm, (3) improve in-service training programmes and (4) retain future nurses.