Newly graduated nurses' commitment to the nursing profession and their workplace during their first year of employment: A focused ethnography

Maiken Holm Kaldal*, Siri Lygum Voldbjerg, Mette Grønkjaer, Tiffany Conroy, Rebecca Feo


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BACKGROUND: The commitment of nurses to their profession and workplace is closely linked to the delivery of high-quality patient care. Existing literature highlights the positive impact of commitment on care quality and patient outcomes. Conversely, a lack of commitment can lead to nurse burnout and disengagement. However, it remains unclear whether and how cultural beliefs and practices influence newly graduated nurses' commitment to the nursing profession and their workplace.

AIM: To explore the cultural beliefs and practices influencing newly graduated nurses' commitment to the profession and commitment to their workplace during their first year of employment.

DESIGN: A focused ethnographic study.

METHODS: Data consisted of field notes from 94 h of participant observations and 10 semi-structured interviews with newly graduated nurses working in acute care settings in Denmark. Data were analysed using ethnographic content analysis. Data were collected between March and June 2022.

RESULTS: The findings reveal a major theme, termed 'A State of Transience among Newly Graduated Nurses', consisting of two themes: 'Newly Graduated Nurses' Pursuit of Professional Development and Supportive Work Environments' and 'A Lack of Formal Agreements or Conditions to Meet Expectations for Professional Development.'

CONCLUSION: Hospitals and nurse managers need to support newly graduated nurses in their first employment after registration by providing a range of clinical experiences through job rotation opportunities within the same organization, deliver on promises for onboarding support and foster a culture of trust. These strategies will help maintain the motivation, commitment and ability of newly graduated nurses to deliver high-quality patient care, thereby reducing the likelihood of turnover.

RELEVANCE FOR CLINICAL PRACTICE: A trusting and supportive work environment is fostered by providing diverse clinical experiences and consistent support for newly graduated nurses. To address potential high turnover associated with job rotation, hospitals need to rethink how retention is defined and measured, moving beyond hospital unit-level models and measures.

REPORTING METHOD: This study reports to the SRQR guidelines.

PATIENT OR PUBLIC CONTRIBUTION: No patient or public contribution.

TidsskriftJournal of Advanced Nursing
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)1058-1071
Antal sider14
StatusUdgivet - mar. 2024

Bibliografisk note

© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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