‘They survive despite the organizational culture, not because of it’: A longitudinal study of new staff perceptions of what constitutes support during the transition to an acute tertiary facility

Authors

  • Robyn Fox RN RM AgedCareCert GradCertMgt GradCertHRM DNE BEdStud MNsgLdrship,

    1. Nursing Director (Education), Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Health Service District, Herston, Queensland, Australia
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  • Amanda Henderson RN RM ICUCert BSc GradDipNsgEd MScSoc PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Nursing Director (Education), Nursing Practice Development Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
      Amanda Henderson, Nursing Practice Development Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane 4102, Queensland, Australia. Email: Amanda_Henderson@health.qld.gov.au
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  • Kristina Malko-Nyhan RN PhD

    1. Education Research Consultant, Queensland, Australia
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Amanda Henderson, Nursing Practice Development Unit, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Brisbane 4102, Queensland, Australia. Email: Amanda_Henderson@health.qld.gov.au

Abstract

Increasing difficulties of recruitment and retention of nursing staff strongly indicate that organizations should identify factors that contribute to successful transition of new staff to the workplace. Although many studies have identified problems facing new staff, fewer studies have articulated best practices. The purpose of this longitudinal study was to ascertain what new staff perceived as supportive elements implemented by the organization to assist their integration. Sixteen staff in Phase I and 12 staff in Phase II attended focus groups. The focus groups at 2–3 months provided specific information, with particular emphasis on negative interactions with other staff members and inadequate learning assistance and support. Different themes emerged within the focus groups at 6–9 months. Staff discussed being ‘self-reliant’ and ‘getting to know the system’. Participants indicated that these skills might be beneficial to new staff in the development of organizational ‘know how’ and resourcefulness, rather than relying on preceptor support that, unfortunately, cannot be always guaranteed.

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