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The cultural–ecological orientation of graduate nurses (novice) in medical–surgical nursing


Mary Oliver, University of South Australia, Centre for Regional Engagement, Nicolson Avenue, Whyalla SA 5608 Australia. Email:


The aim of this research was to understand the process of clinical reasoning and decision-making and the impact that trajectory of experience has on the decision-making of graduate nurses by investigating the clinical practice of 10 novice nurses. An ethnographic interpretive approach was used to study the clinical practice of novice nurses in medical–surgical nursing. An in-depth interview was conducted following the periods of observation. The findings of this research demonstrate that the graduates who participated in this study were instrumental in creating a cultural–ecological orientation to their practice, and inherent in their practice was a highly developed perceptual awareness of the individual needs of patients and their families, which resulted in a close bond with their patients.

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