Transition to Practice: Supporting First-Year Nurses Within a Collaborative Faith-Based Education Program

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Kylie P. Russell, PhD, RN1
Tracey H. Coventry, PhD, RN, RM1
Lisa Faulds, GDip2
(1)School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle, Australia
(2)Group Learning and Development, St John of God Healthcare, St John of God Healthcare, Murdoch, Australia

The Australian health care setting is part of a global entity is in a state of constant change, and affected by a large number of adverse factors and challenges to the provision of safe, quality and cost effective care by competent and well trained staff. In this context the newly qualified graduate nurse begins their professional journey, with their transition to practice significantly impacted by the culture of the organisation and acute care clinical environment. Faith-based organisations play a major role in health care in Australia where local populations encounter a unique service supported by compassionate and concerned staff who work in opposition to the inflexibility that often exists in contemporary health care. This action of service to others is evident in the relationships created in the pursuit of the common good that places patient quality of care as the primary consideration in nursing decision making and interactions. The intersection of academic curriculum and clinical skills and experience in the collaborative work integrated learning program ensures authentic engagement of the graduate nurse in the ‘real’ world of professional nursing. Postgraduate work integrated learning invests in quality and safe patient outcomes through the clinical, professional and academic capacity for practice of registered nurses. The partnership advocates for community and pastoral care as the foundation for graduate success to meet the industry expectations of excellence in nursing and best practice care. This research uses a mixed method design to report on the impact of work integrated learning within a framework of faith and values on the learning experiences of graduate nurses in their first year of nursing. The results will inform practice and the ongoing delivery of the program and as a commitment to investment in the professional development OR continuing needs of the newly qualified nurse and to safeguard quality patient care.