Easing the transition: sSupport for the new graduate nurse in long-term care.
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As our population continues to age, more nurses will be needed to enter the specialty of LTC nursing to meet the needs of our senior population. To promote this area of nursing and retain new graduate nurses in LTC, more research is required to support the specific challenges faced by LTC nurses compared with those of other areas of nursing. The authors suggest implementation of support strategies that may include a formal preceptorship program of at least one month in duration, additional clinical support on night shifts, coaching and mentoring models, learning opportunities based on a learning needs assessment, and orientation to the overall culture and environment of the home including time spent with all departments. LTC homes need to examine their approaches to leadership, providing comprehensive orientation and resource support for new graduates and developing strategies specific to their organization's mission and vision that will empower and provide support to ease the unique transition to LTC. These strategies lead to promoting positive relationships, professional development and overall positive outcomes with workplace satisfaction in the LTC setting. The authors encourage federal and provincial government officials to examine this more closely and to better support this effort with the financial resources that are greatly needed in LTC homes to provide the exemplary care that our seniors deserve.
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