STaR Project presents at The Burdett Trust for Nursing Symposium

JW @ BurdettDr Jane Wray – Director of Research, School of Health and Social Work, University of Hull

On Monday 17 September 2018 members of the STaR project team attended The Burdett Trust for Nursing Symposium ‘Strengthening Nurse Leadership and Retention Programmes’ in London. The Burdett Trust brought together several of their funded projects to share preliminary work and findings. Following a welcome by Shirley Baines, CEO or the Burdett Trust, there were two keynote presentations. The first by Dame Eileen Sills, Burdett Trustee, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on “What does it take to become an Aspiring Nurse Director” and the second by Professor Thomas Kearns, Executive Director of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland presenting “Everyone has influence – generating a global voice for nursing”. Dr Barbara Stilwell Executive Director of Nursing Now also addressed the conference. The conference was attended by some leading UK nurses including Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, her predecessor Dame Christine Beazley, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group and Christine Hancock, Founder and Director of C3 Collaborating for Health and former General Secretary of the RCN.

Then the project teams from the ‘Strengthening Nurse Leadership’ and ‘Retention Programmes’ presented their work to colleagues and peers. I presented an update on the STaR project and its activities to date, prior to the symposium discussion.  It was a really useful opportunity for us to showcase our project and all our hard work to date and also to learn from the other projects and network with colleagues. There is some great work being undertaken to support leadership and retention not just for newly qualified nurses supported by the Burdett Trust. We came away with lots of useful ideas for further development of our work especially the ‘transition toolkit’ which we will be sharing with our wider project networks and practice partners to help plan our next steps.

Exploring the Reality and Preparing for the Shock: Using the experiences of graduates

Helen Convey PhotoExploring the Reality and Preparing for the Shock: Using the experiences of graduatesHelen Convey RN, MA – Lecturer in the School of Healthcare, University of Leeds

Graduation days are some of my favourite days of the academic year. It’s lovely to share in the celebrations and to hear about the experiences of our newly qualified nurse (NQN) graduates who are now in practice. At graduation NQNs often tell me that their first few weeks and months in practice as registrants are much harder than they anticipated; the literature reflects this and the experience of transition as a challenging time is well documented.

This time of transition to practice is a change; NQNs might feel detached from familiar arrangements and support systems and they may find that they have new needs and feel unsure about how to meet these. NQNs may experience reality shock, where they find that they are not prepared for a role or situation that they have worked to be prepared for. Given the research evidence and my anecdotal experience I explored learning and teaching approaches to support BSc Adult Nursing students in their transition from student to registrant.

One of the approaches that I explored was the use of stories from NQNs. This resource from Patient Voices https://www.patientvoices.org.uk/un.htm was a useful starting point. I thought that acquiring and using stories from our own graduates would be a powerful way to help our learners to identify with the phenomenon. I sourced stories for use in facilitated tutorials via graduate gatekeepers, using email and social media. No specific formula was requested, just a willingness to share experiences of transition for the purposes of facilitating learning.

Some NQNs were happy to be identified whilst others preferred to remain anonymous. They provided long narratives or brief snapshots (which were presented in the tutorial as quotations) and all of the responses were valuable. The challenges that NQNs talked about were; having a new sense of responsibility and feeling doubtful whilst making clinical decisions; feeling under pressure to work quickly; needing an awareness of their ability so that they could deliver competent care and needing to use the skills to influence change in practice.

Every NQN story provided a solution to the challenge and an evaluation of its effectiveness. Solutions included; sharing worries with senior staff or preceptors; ‘standing your ground’ regarding competency and using negotiation skills to effect change. NQNs described growing in confidence, understanding of the role and an emerging feeling of knowing and understanding.

Learners found using the stories beneficial and expressed thanks to the NQNs for providing them. In evaluation the percentage of learners agreeing or strongly agreeing that these resources had helped them to think about the experience of transition were 83% for the quotations and 84% for the narratives (N= 104).

Using this approach does require sensitive facilitation so that all experiences of transition can be seen as positive learning opportunities. I continue to request and collect stories and there is potential for this approach to be used by other professional groups. If you would like to know more about my project and the other learning and teaching approaches that I use to support transition please contact me h.m.convey@leeds.ac.uk

 

A study to develop, pilot and evaluate a sustainable model of online peer support for newly qualified nurses

Natalie Webster A study to develop, pilot and evaluate a sustainable model of online peer support for newly qualified nurses – Analisa Smythe, Natalie Webster and Catharine Jenkins

Newly qualified nurses (NQN’s) are particularly vulnerable during the first few years of their careers and have reported experiences of being overwhelmed, stressed and even intimidated. These negative feelings leave NQN’s at high risk for early career burnout and leaving the profession; it is therefore imperative that strategies to improve retention for newly qualified nurses become a priority. Our study is a collaborative endeavour between Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT) and University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) with the aim of developing, piloting and evaluating a model of online peer support for newly qualified nurses delivered via smartphone technology. Continue reading “A study to develop, pilot and evaluate a sustainable model of online peer support for newly qualified nurses”

Water, water nowhere and no-one who can think – Phillip Darbyshire, Professor of Nursing, Adelaide

Phillip Darbyshire 3Water, water nowhere and no-one who can think – Phillip Darbyshire, Professor of Nursing, Adelaide Australia

Every so often it happens, even at my age.  You think that you have seen and heard everything in nursing and then along comes something that completely upends you. I sat recently in a research conference in the UK hearing Janet Davies, head of the RCN say that she never thought she’d see the day when the RCN needed to run a campaign urging nurse to drink, eat and basically not collapse on duty from dehydration or hypoglycaemia.  I listened, but I also looked around, convinced that the ‘punk’d’ team were going to leap out at any second to heap scorn on the gullible who’d believed all of this.  They didn’t appear.  This was real. When the subject of water bottles and their ‘banning’ in some wards and units was raised, lots of nurses around me were nodding furiously.  Toto, I was truly not in Kansas anymore. Continue reading “Water, water nowhere and no-one who can think – Phillip Darbyshire, Professor of Nursing, Adelaide”

Some thoughts on reflection for the transition to newly qualified nurse – Charlie Middleton

Charlie Middleton

Some thoughts on reflection for the transition to newly qualified nurse – Charlie Middleton, Lecturer in Nursing, University of Dundee

In a recent editorial in the JAN, I wrote about low morale in nursing students. The final weeks before graduation can be a time of excitement, but sometimes experiences in practice and academic pressures can hamper enthusiasm. Reflection forms a key part of NMC revalidation and is associated with improvements in nurse resilience and well-being. So in the last few weeks of final assessments and sign off placements, it can be helpful to take some time to think about your future. Continue reading “Some thoughts on reflection for the transition to newly qualified nurse – Charlie Middleton”

Retaining Mental Health Nurses in Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

Peer Support Group - 2015
Peer Support Group 2015

Retaining Mental Health Nurses in Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust – Haley Jackson, Research Nurse

We at Humber realise how difficult it is to be a newly qualified (NQ) staff nurse working in an inpatient mental health unit. It became apparent that an increasing number of NQs were leaving inpatient care within months of qualifying. NQs were complaining that the support they received was not substantial enough to prepare them for the role. They felt overwhelmed by their new responsibilities and experienced difficulties fitting in to front line staff teams under pressure from high acuity and heavy workload.  Despite the support of a ward-based mentor and the Trust preceptorship it was recognised inpatient NQs needed something more. Continue reading “Retaining Mental Health Nurses in Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust”

“Haemorrhaging nurses” one in 10 quit NHS England each year

 

Haemorraging nursesAt the recent STaR project advisory group meeting (15th January 2018), the research team, our STaR consultants and external advisors discussed ideas on how we might better support the transtion of newly qualified nurses into the workplace.  There has been much in the national media recently reporting that the number of nurses leaving the profession is greater than those joining the register. Continue reading ““Haemorrhaging nurses” one in 10 quit NHS England each year”