Pi Phi Chapter

Work Readiness of Newly Graduated Nurses

Nursing Research on the Green

2017 Abstract

Karen Hayter MS, RN (PhD Candidate); Mary P. Davis, PhD, RN, CPHQ (Co-chair); and Mary S. Koithan, PhD, RN, CNS-BC, FAAN (C-chair) – University of Arizona, Tucson  

  • Background:  The transition, success, and retention of newly graduated nurses are worldwide problems. With the looming national nursing shortage and 33-61% of newly graduated nurses leaving their job within the first year, newly graduated nurses need to be work ready. Work readiness is a new concept developed in Australia. 
  • Significance:  New nurses are a vulnerable population that is dependent upon experienced nurses for knowledge, skills, and socialization into the profession. However, new nurses often experience rudeness, humiliation and conflict effecting professional success and retention. When new nurses don't feel comfortable asking for help or asking questions, the safety and quality of care may suffer.  New nurses leave jobs within the first leading to a training-turnover cycle. Since 40% of nurses are over the age of 55 and new nurses leaving the profession, one million nurses are needed by 2020.
  • Purpose/objective:  The purpose of this study was to apply the Work Readiness Scale “ Graduate Nurses (WRS-GN) to a population of Baccalaureate and Master's Entry into the Profession of Nursing graduates from a southwestern university and determine if there is a relationship between the constructs of work readiness, individual experiences of graduates, and the two groups. Research questions included:  
    1)    What is the relationship between the constructs of work readiness (social intelligence, personal work characteristics, work competence, and organizational acumen) and Individual Experiences (personal life experiences and professional experiences)?
    2)    Do newly graduated BSN and MEPN degree nurses differ on the WRS-GN constructs of social intelligence, personal work characteristics, work competence, and organizational acumen? 
  • Methods/project:  Descriptive correlational study with a convenience sample of graduates between August 2015 and December 2016 from a southwestern university. Participants received a survey through their school email account and a message was placed on the Alumni Facebook page. 
  • Results:  Population consisted of 30 participants (9.2% response rate). 93.3% were female and 76.7% work in Arizona. Approximately one-third of the participants (36.7%) indicated that they did not have a nurse residency program. None of the participants were planning to leave the profession of nursing in the next year. A statistically significant relationship was detected between work competency and length of nurse residency (r=.441). A statistically significant negative relationship was detected between personal work characteristics and nurse residency (r=-.413).  A statistically significant relationship was detected between becoming certified/returning to school and all the constructs of work readiness. 
  • Clinical implications:  Work readiness is complex. Longer nurse residency leads to greater work competence. Greater the work competence the more likely a participant is to continue their education. The WRS-GN has been tested once in a population of Australian graduate nurses. Further research is needed to validate the WRS-GN in the United States.  

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