Our toolkit is available for comment

Don’t forget our toolkit is available here and you can still comment or provide feedback on this until 18 Sept but thought we would share with you the following:

The STaR toolkit is an essential aid, a ‘one stop shop’ for all nursing students and newly qualified nurses, plus the nurses and organisations that support them. The toolkit brings together existing resources to help student nurses plan their early careers giving them the means to make smart decisions and get the best start possible. For those in preceptorship it provides links to competencies, supervision and re-validation. Packed with experiential and reflective accounts, the toolkit directs students and nurses to interactive and e-media sites to engage and enthuse them about the journey ahead. Having experienced the highs and lows of early career nursing I cannot recommend this toolkit enough.

Haley Jackson Clinical Effectiveness and Research Nurse

Humberside Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

And see what people have been saying on Twitter about us here.

Preceptorship – an essential part of the successful transition from student to newly registered nurse. But……

Jane Wray, STaR project and Senior Lecturer in Nursing

jane-wraySupporting newly Registered Nurses during the early months of their nursing career is key to the development of safe, competent and confident practitioners. Supportive frameworks such as: preceptorship; clinical coaching; transition to practice programmes; residencies; and internships help embed knowledge and practice experience gained during pre-registration programmes (Brook et al. 2019). The NMC (2020) has recently published Principles for Preceptorship and this is welcome guidance for new nurses, midwives and nursing associates who have recently joined the register and are starting their careers. These principles focus on five key areas: Organisational culture and preceptorship; Quality and oversight of preceptorship; Preceptee empowerment; and Preparing preceptors for their supporting role and the preceptorship programme.

Underpinning these is a clear narrative that it is in the best interest of individual nurses, employers, organisations and patients to support newly qualified health care professionals to successfully make the transition from student to autonomous practitioner. The benefits of a ‘good’ preceptorship programme are many: increased competence; development of professional skills; a positive impact on stress levels and satisfaction; and longer term benefits to the organisation such as retention (Ke et al. 2017). It is also reassuring to see that the NMC have chosen to go beyond the ‘newly registered’ and recognised the applicability of these principles to those that may be returning to practice, internationally educated nurses or professionals who are adapting to a new or different scope of practice – including during the Covid-19 pandemic.

And the but…. Preceptorship has been around for quite some time. Staffing deficits and workload pressures have compromised organisations’ ability to consistently deliver this successfully in practice (Adams & Gillman 2016, Lewis & McGowan 2015). That is not to say there is not good practice out there – there is – and there is also substantive commitment to the principles of preceptorship. But the presence of principles, or a framework is not sufficient to guarantee implementation and significant commitment is required from clinical staff and organisations to make this a reality. This may be difficult to prioritise during the current pandemic. Finally, although there is considerable value in having access to a preceptor it is important to recognise that preceptorship is the responsibility of the whole team – not just the preceptor.

The STaR Transition toolkit has a selection of resources on preceptorship and supporting newly qualified nurses. This toolkit can be accessed here.


Adams, J.E., Gillman, L., 2016. Developing an evidence-based transition program for graduate nurses. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession 52 (5), 511-521.

Brook, J, Aitken, L, Webb, R, MacLaren, J, Salmon, D, 2019. Characteristics of successful interventions to reduce turnover and increase retention of early career nurses: A systematic review. International Journal of Nursing Studies 91 47–59.

Ke, Y.T., Kuo, C.C., Hung, C.H., 2017. The effects of nursing preceptorship on new nurses’ competence, professional socialization, job satisfaction and retention: A systematic review. J Adv Nurs 73 (10), 2296-2305.

Lewis, S., McGowan, B., 2015. Newly qualified nurses’ experiences of a preceptorship. British Journal of Nursing 24, (1), 40-43.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2020) Principles for Preceptorship. Available at https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/nmc-publications/nmc-principles-for-preceptorship-a5.pdf.

Transition toolkit consultation


As we approach the end of the STaR Research project we want to start sharing our findings and outputs.  One of our project objectives was to ‘Develop an evidence-based toolkit that enables newly Registered Nurses and their employers to identify, implement and evaluate a co-produced individualised approach to transition and retention’.   This week we are launching the toolkit so I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you a little more about it and the process that we went through in compiling it.

The toolkit is an online resource and was designed for students, newly qualified nurses, employers, preceptors, clinical educators and other healthcare staff involved in supporting newly qualified nurses during transition. We have been developing this over the last two years and it was informed by the interviews we conducted with students, NQNs, clinical staff and academics; the rapid evidence assessment and through discussion within the team and with our partners in practice. As part of the work we have been doing, we have connected with many others also undertaking excellent work supporting NQNs – and we have included some of their resources too, as well as ones specifically developed by the STaR project.

The toolkit is divided into the following five key sections which broadly map the journey from final year student through to qualified practitioner at 12 months post registration:

Section 1: General information

Section 2: First Job Planning

Section 3: Preparing for the Transition

Section 4: Induction Period

Section 5: Post Induction/preceptorship period

In each section, users can find links to information, advice and tasks to complete that are relevant to each particular stage in the transition journey.  It also includes a section containing resources and further information aimed at helping the user to ‘keep learning and stay connected’.  We also included links to relevant key resources by several organisations including: the Royal College of Nursing; the NHS and Health Education England; and social media links that were useful or relevant that had been identified during the lifespan of the project.

This final version has been refined following feedback from members of our project advisory group, nurse educators at the University of Hull and NQNs from an online forum. Feedback was sought on the design and layout, content, accessibility and overall presentation of the toolkit. We hope that you enjoy using the toolkit and that you find it useful.  It can be accessed by clicking here.

We would welcome your thoughts, comments or feedback on this toolkit and so please do contact us.  The opportunity to suggest amendments to the toolkit will be available until Friday 18th September 2020.

Supporting the Transition from Student to Newly Qualified Nurse: Some ‘Top Tips’ for Academic staff supporting final year nursing students

Our final blog in the ‘Top Tips’ series is specifically aimed at colleagues working in higher education and supporting students who are due to complete their pre-registration programmes.  You can find our previous two ‘Top Tips’ documents via the following links;

Supporting the Transition from Student to Newly Qualified Nurse: Some ‘Top Tips’ for NQNs

Supporting the Transition from Student to Newly Qualified Nurse: Some ‘Top Tips’ for Clinical staff

These ‘top tips’ have been mainly generated from the semi-structured interviews undertaken in the earlier stages of the project with nursing students, NQNs, academics and clinical leads.  This is another resource from our STaR project toolkit which will be available on this website later this year.

If you would like a copy of this flyer, or our previous ones for NQNs and Clinical staff, please email the STaR project.

Top Tips’ for academic lecturers


Supporting the Transition from Student to Newly Qualified Nurse: Some ‘Top Tips’ for Clinical staff

As part of our series of blogs sharing the resources we have developed in our project, the next ‘Top Tips’ document is for staff in clinical practice supporting NQNs or nursing students in the final stages of their programme. This is another resource that will be available in our toolkit which is currently being finalised and will be shared later this year via our website.

These ‘Top Tips’ emerged from our interviews with nursing students in the final semester of their programmes, newly qualified nurses at 1 month and 9 months into practice, academics with an interest in transition and retention from across the world and clinical leads and managers supporting NQNs. You can read our ‘Top Tips’ for NQNs in our previous blog .

If you would like a copy of this flyer or our previous one for NQNs please email the STaR project (star@hull.ac.uk).


Please note this is free to share and re-use under our Creative Commons license

Supporting the Transition from Student to Newly Qualified Nurse: Some ‘Top Tips’for NQNs

As part of our project we conducted 40 semi-structured interviews to gain a better understanding of the challenge students and newly qualified nurses face during the transition phase. This included nursing students in the final semester of their programmes, newly qualified nurses at 1 month and9 months into practice, academics with an interest in transition and retention from across the world and clinical leads and managers supporting NQNs. We have presented our findings nationally and internationally and discussed these with conference attendees and debated them with colleagues and peers via our Twitter®feed (@starnursehull). Our project advisory group of newly qualified nurses, students clinicians and service users have provided us with advice and feedback on our work and we have collated this into our project toolkit which will be shared later this year (watch this space!). The toolkit comprising a wide selection of resources (information, advice and tasks to complete) that are relevant to each particular stage in the transition journey and is designed to be used by students, newly qualified nurses, employers, preceptors, clinical educators and other healthcare staff involved in supporting newly qualified nurses during transition. We thought we would start by sharing some of resources we have developed during the lifetime of the project and this is the first in a series of blogs focused on‘Top Tips for NQNs’.


Please note this is free to share under our Creative Commons Licence:

State of the World’s Nursing: investing in education, jobs and leadership

downloadEven before we begin to delve into the immense detail of the document – one thing stands out: nurses make a huge difference wherever they are supported in their practice. Around the globe nurses are impacting on the health and well-being of individuals, communities and populations. Nurses are the largest professional group in health care globally – 27.9 million strong making up almost 59% of the health care workforce.  We matter – a lot!  The WHO, ICN and Nursing Now report provides a wealth of information – pages and pages of data that will take weeks to absorb, but from first glance the following seem particularly important issues to me.

First, there are already a lot of nurses – but we need more. The report identifies the need to add at least 5.9 million nurses to the global workforce. This increase is to meet the evolving health needs of diverse populations and to help progress towards sustainability goals. However, this takes investment and planning. Volume is important but the need to refocus nursing programmes toward primary care and public health is also important. The report makes the point about a necessary joining up between nursing preparation programmes and health system demands but does not shed much light on how this can be achieved. In terms of increasing the workforce the report highlights to ongoing gender differential in nursing – attracting more men is an important aspect of planning for a future workforce.

Second, and linked to the point above is the need for lots more to be done to make nursing an attractive career. Globally the increased workloads, poor staff and growing demands place pressure on nurses. The report stresses the need for workplace health and safety interventions to prevent nursing burnout and attrition. It also makes the point that nurses are often very poorly remunerated for their work – and that this needs to change if we are to grow the profession. This economic issue would also help with the issue of nursing as a migrating workforce. The report recognises we have yet to strike a balance between nurses being able to use their qualification to seek a better life and the dangers of depleting a nursing workforce where it is most needed. We need to be better at retention too.

Third, I was surprised and a little disappointed at the lack of a clear message about the importance of graduate education for nurses. The evidence for the value of this is clear and the report could have been more emphatic about this matter. However, the importance of science-based training and the value of inter-disciplinarily learning in nursing programmes is highlighted. The need for well-designed specialist preparation programmes for nurses is also stressed in the report – developed to recognise the huge value nurse practitioners bring to patient care outcomes. What was conspicuous by its absence in the report is the importance of nurses as researchers and the need to grow the global nursing evidence base. This seems like a missed opportunity to me.

Finally, the report makes a very important statements about nursing leadership. Only by nurses being involved in the highest echelons of government can we ensure that our profession grows and develops safely and securely. It is at the highest levels of health policy decision making that the nursing profession needs to make its mark and ensure the contribution of nursing is recognised and rewarded. This is the key areas for the development of nursing in the next decade. An essential part of this is the necessity to continuing to produce the evidence for the effectiveness of nurse led interventions. We are quite good at this at the individual patient care level – but we need to be far better at demonstrating, with rigour, the differences nurses can make at community and population level. We also need to gather more evidence of how nursing can be linked to other sustainability goals such as environmental health, structural inequality and economic impact. So – more work to do – but this report is a helpful contribution to the development of our profession.

Extraordinary times and extraordinary measures

IMG_3308The present situation regarding the coronavirus has clearly been disrupting for nursing students, especially those in their final year. All students making the transition from being a final year student to a Registered Nurse need support. But right now they will need more support than even. The current set of final year nursing students are in a unique situation and, with any luck, this will probably never be repeated.

The NMC and the RCN have both issued guidance to explain what is happening. The RCN guidance New measures for nursing students will enable more to help during COVID-19 crisis  states:

  • first-year nursing students will continue with their degree programme, with clinical placements paused for the duration of the emergency. These nursing students may volunteer or undertake paid work in a clinical setting in their spare time, while they maintain their academic study. However, volunteering or paid work will not be counted towards the practice hours and experience required to complete their pre-registration course.
  • all other nursing students, including postgraduate diploma and masters students, but excluding third-year students in their final six months of their undergraduate degree will be invited to opt-in to an arrangement where they may spend 80% of their time in clinical practice, which will be remunerated and count towards practice hours. These students will spend 20% of their time in academic study during this emergency period to ensure structured, regular contact with their approved education institution.

The NMC has issued a comprehensive set of guidance and proposals: Information for students and educators. Under emergency standards they state:

  • enable student nurses and midwives in the final six months of their programme to complete their training in appropriate placement settings
  • give educations institutions and their practice learning partners more flexibility to ensure students get appropriate support and supervision
  • enable students to use their knowledge and skills appropriately during this time of crisis to support the care of people

Please seek support when you need it if you are a student; colleagues in education and practice, please be aware of what is happening to students in your clinical areas. Above all, for the duration of these extraordinary measures, support each other.


Launch of the European Centre of Excellence for Research in Continuing Professional Development 26th February 2020 at the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland (RCSI) in Dublin

STaR blog: Dr Jane Wray, Director of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences writes:

I was very excited to attend the launch of the new European Centre of Excellence for Research in Continuing Professional Development at the Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland on 26 February. It is a real honour to be part of this exciting new venture and represent the Faculty of Health Sciences and the University of Hull.

The Pan European network for the European Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Continuing Professional Development (hosted by the RCSI)

This Pan European network of researchers, clinicians, regulators and professional bodies has come together with shared interest in, and passion for advancing the science of continuing professional development (CPD) through research. Ensuring that healthcare staff have opportunities to maintain, develop and update their skills is fundamental to the delivery of high quality, safe and effective care.  As healthcare professionals, we have an obligation to ensure that we practice in line with best available evidence (The Code, Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2018), and this can only be achieved by acquiring the new knowledge and skills needed to meet the future changing needs of the people we care for and support. Healthcare organisations invest in a range of CPD activities for their staff to achieve this. We do know that staff consider CPD to be important, opportunities to develop both personally and professionally help create an organisational culture that values staff learning and wellbeing, aiding retention and workforce productivity. However, despite this investment and commitment, the evidence base for CPD in terms of its impact on clinical practice and patient outcomes remains poor.

The launch of this Centre of Excellence is an important step in developing the evidence base through cross-disciplinary collaborative research activity and knowledge exchange. The Centre is the ‘brain-child’ of Professor Thomas Kearns, Executive Director, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery (RCSI) and currently has members from over 20 countries including; Albania, Belgium, Croatia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, UK, and USA.  The centre has already established three working groups that are focused on evaluating the impact of CPD, digital pedagogies for CPD and the economic impact of CPD. The centre will act as a catalyst for new ideas and guide future standards.

For more information about the centre, please contact Dr Cathy Fitzgerald, Research Fellow cathy.fitzgerald@rcsi.com

39th Annual International Nursing & Midwifery Research and Education Conference 2020 [26-27 February Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery]

Jane Wray writes:

I was delighted to be able to attend the conference this year and present some more of your findings from the STaR project on “Student Reflections on the Transition to Newly Qualified Nurse”. I delivered my session to a mixed group of recently qualified nurses, clinicians and academics and it was really useful to get some further feedback on our work to date. Thanks to everyone who attended and asked questions. The importance of supporting the nursing workforce and nurturing ‘new nurses’ (not eating them!) was also highlighted earlier in the day in the keynote speeches.JW at RCSI (1)

This year the conference placed the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020 at its very centre and was opened with a message from Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General, WHO). This was followed by Ms Elizabeth Iro (Chief Nursing Officer, WHO) who delivered the keynote address ‘Nurses and Midwives Making a Difference: A Global Approach for Country Impact”. She spoke about the important role of nurses and midwives and that this year was a once in a generation opportunity to make visible the contribution to universal health and wellbeing. She asked ‘Why now?’ and answered ‘Why not?’ it was time for nurses and midwives to raise their voices and tell their stories – and to look beyond 2020 and leave a legacy for the future.

Lord Nigel Crisp (1)These messages were reinforced by Professor Rita Borg Xuereb (International Confederation of Midwives) in her keynote address “Celebrate, Demonstrate, Mobilise, Unite”. She described 2020 as a unique opportunity to collaborate and advocate for our professions and the need for investment to scale up and deliver transformative education, lifelong learning, regulation and research. The final keynote of the morning was from Lord Nigel Crisp (Co-Chair of the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health and Co-Chair of the Nursing Now campaign) on “Nursing Now – Lessons from the Campaign and Thoughts for the Future”. He was very clear that if you enhance the profile and status of nurses and midwives you enhance the whole team as they are at the centre of healthcare. His final comments focused on the need to leverage the momentum of 2020 and Nursing Now and create a legacy (and a big thanks to the Burdett Trust for Nursing for supporting this work).