The Nurse Transition Project: Attracting and Retaining Our Best and Brightest

Thursday, 16 July 2009: 10:30 AM

Kathleen Kane, PhD, RN
Nursing, Nyack Hospital, Nyack, NY
Joan Paternoster, PhD, RN
Henry P. Becton School of Nursing and Allied Health, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, NJ

Learning Objective 1: describe national and global issues related to nurse retention

Learning Objective 2: discuss methods to transition newly hired nurses and improve nurse retention

Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate a program created to facilitate newly hired Registered Nurses' (RNs') transition into the hospital setting using a model of peer and preceptor support Methods: The sample consisted of all Registered Nurses hired at Nyack Hospital, a 250-bed community Hospital located approximately 35-miles northeast of New York City in Rockland County from October, 2008 to June, 2009. All RNs hired into fulltime and partime positions were asked to participate. Nurses working on a perdiem basis were excluded from the study. Onging peer support was offered through regularly scheduled group meetings for newly hired RNs and preceptors. Newly hired RNs were asked to write “clinical narratives” (Benner, 1984) describing workday events in order to provide insight into the “lived experience” of being new to the organization. Stories were analyzed qualitatively using a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Straus, 1967) in order to derive themes related to that “lived experience”. This methodology also provided a feedback mechanism to the organization. In addition Nurse Preceptors' job satisfaction was measured using the McCloskey and Mueller Satisfaction Scale (1990). Results: The results of the study indicate that the implementation of the Nurse Transition Project (NTP) resulted in improved retention, an easier transition of newly hired RNs, and increased level of Preceptor job satisfaction. Conclusion: It is widely recognized that the process of new nurse transition into the hospital setting is often a difficult and stressful experience for nurses of all levels of expertise (Johnstone, Kanitsaki, Currie, 2008). In order to facilitate this transition, various models of social support have proven to be valuable (e.g. peer groups, preceptoring, mentoring).