Campus Life  

Researchers seek to better integrate graduate nurses into workplace

Province-wide project receives $149,000 from Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research

Nursing professor Kathy Rush

Nursing professor Kathy Rush

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research has awarded $149,000 to a province-wide research team co-led by Kathy Rush, associate professor of nursing at UBC’s Okanagan campus, and Monica Adamack, regional practice leader, clinical education, for Interior Health.

Given through the BC Nursing Research Initiative’s Commissioned Research Program, the funding will support a project that examines and identifies best practices in the integration of new graduate nurses into the workplace.

"Educational institutions play an important role in preparing students to enter the realities of the workplace," says Rush. "Ensuring the readiness of new graduates for practice remains a challenge with the growing acuity and complexity of care coupled with technological advancements."

"Historically, the transition from nursing student to clinical nurse has been seen as a significant issue, with considerable stressors placed upon the new graduate," says Adamack. "This stress is a concern to our healthcare system in light of our mandate to provide safe, quality care to our clients and to provide strong working environments that are supportive of the staff.”

Adamack notes that according to the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia up to 65 per cent of new graduates will leave the hiring facility or the profession within their first two years.

"The turnover doesn’t allow for building strong working environments and poses resource issues for the healthcare system at the time of a serious nursing shortage," Adamack says.

To address some of these issues, last November Rush, Adamack, and a provincial team of academic and health authority representatives began an 18-month, three-phase research initiative with the goals of:

  • Determining best practices from the literature for integrating new graduate nurses in the workplace
  • Analyzing the current application of identified new graduate best practices for strengths and gaps
  • Developing a best practices toolkit for use with BC new nursing graduates

"Monica and I anticipate that the outcome of this project will be a best practices framework that will better support our future nursing workforce and it is our wish that academia and practice will continue this work together," says Rush.

For more information on the BCNRI Commissioned Research Program and the project, Best practices: Integration of new graduate nurses in the workplace, visit http://www.msfhr.org/news/news_blog/2011/01/BCNRI_Commissioned.

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