Career development: graduate nurse views

Authors

  • Michelle Cleary PhD, RN,

    Associate Professor, Corresponding author
    • Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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  • Jan Horsfall PhD,

    Research Officer
    1. Sydney Local Health Network, Concord Hospital, Concord, NSW, Australia
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  • Paulpandi Muthulakshmi MSc,

    Research Assistant
    1. Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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  • Brenda Happell PhD, RN,

    Professor
    1. Central Queensland University, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Rockhampton, Qld, Australia
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  • Glenn E Hunt PhD

    Associate Professor
    1. Sydney Local Health Network, Concord Hospital, Concord, NSW, Australia
    2. Discipline of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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Correspondence: Michelle Cleary, Associate Professor, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Level 2, Clinical Research Centre, Block MD11, 10 Medical Drive, Singapore 117597, Singapore. Telephone: +65 6601 1764.

E-mail: nurmlc@nus.edu.sg; michelle_cleary@nuhs.edu.sg

Abstract

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.

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