We have been capturing newly qualified nurses (NQNs) experiences of transition via interviews during the last 12 months. We recently had several discussions with international colleagues on this important issue and the challenges experienced by NQNs during this time seem to be common and occur in different countries – despite the different educational preparation, health care systems and policy and practice context. In addition, this experience also transcends professional disciplines and it is evident that this period of transition challenge also applies to different professions and disciplines allied to health. The importance of support during the transition period, as well as on-going mentorship and/or preceptorship throughout careers to deal with and process challenging emotional situations is fundamental to the wellbeing of healthcare staff. This is relevant to NQNs as well as more experienced healthcare professionals.
These conversations took place whilst we were attending the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology “Qualitative Health Research Conference” (25-29 October) in Vancouver. This was such a great experience – a diverse and eclectic inter disciplinary mix of keynotes and concurrent sessions exclusively focused on qualitative health research. A conference full of stimulating debate in a welcoming and supportive environment. This was an opportunity to showcase the qualitative elements of our study – the student reflections on transition in a poster presentation (Change Challenge and Excitement: Reflections on the transition from student to newly qualified nurse). We also did an oral presentation focused on the interview data from the study – ‘Perspectives on transition from student to newly qualified nurse views of students, NQNs, academics and clinical managers’.
Our work was well received with lots of positive feedback. It has provided us with some great ideas for future research and some food for thought on how we can further interrogate our research findings.