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Keywords:

  • continuing professional development;
  • new nursing graduates;
  • nurse workforce challenges;
  • satisfaction;
  • Singapore

Aims and objectives

To explore recent Singapore nursing graduates' experience of and views about their career development and progress.

Background

The recruitment and retention of an adequate number of registered nurses is a continuing workforce issue in Singapore and other major cities.

Design

Survey of recent nursing graduates.

Methods

Recent nursing graduates from the Bachelor programme (n = 147) were sent an individual survey; a response rate of 54% was achieved.

Results

Findings show that nurses rated their self-concept in a positive manner and were most satisfied (moderately to very) with helping patients and providing effective care, and the level of patient involvement. They were least satisfied (moderately to only a little) with prestige among the general medical community and the general public, hours of work, lifestyle factors and research opportunities. The following four factors were identified as significant impediments to career development; lack of support in the work place; perceived insufficient clinical career development opportunities; excessive work hours; and limited access to merit-based places in further education.

Conclusions

Suggestions made to overcome perceived career development barriers are as follows: broad multifactorial healthcare system changes; decreased and more flexible working hours; and fairer access to further clinical and higher education.

Relevance to clinical practice

Results highlight the value clinical nurses place on having access to career development opportunities, merit-based further education and work place supports. These factors also have the potential to influence patient care and impact on the retention of nurses in their present job and satisfaction with their nursing career.