Work readiness, transition, and integration: The challenge of specialty practice
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AIM: To determine how extended orientation enhances the work readiness of new graduate nurses as they transitioned to their professional role in a specialty care hospital. BACKGROUND: Given increased complexity of care and high-patient acuity, there is concern about the work readiness of new graduate nurses in specialty areas. DESIGN: Qualitative exploratory study using an inductive approach. METHODS: An integrative literature review was conducted to abstract characteristics of work readiness among new graduate nurses. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 41 participants from a large paediatric specialty hospital in Ontario, Canada, in 2014. The sample of nurses was stratified and included nurse managers, new graduates, and preceptors. Interview texts were interpreted using thematic analysis. RESULTS: A framework for enhancing work readiness of new graduates transitioning to specialty care was developed from the interview and literature findings. Interview data demonstrate an extended orientation that includes mentorship, a gradual increase in clinical responsibilities, and involvement in the professional role during the early stages of a nurse's career can enhance work readiness of new graduates. Four key areas of work readiness were identified in the literature: personal characteristics, clinical characteristics, relational characteristics, and organizational acuity. CONCLUSION: Based on the study results, new graduate nurses can be an integral part of the team in specialty care provided certain conditions are met during their transition to practice. Our study gives further evidence that extended orientation enhances new graduates' work readiness as they transit to their professional role.