New Graduate Nurses As Knowledge Brokers In General Practice in New Zealandi

Wednesday, 1 August 2012: 1:50 PM

Karen J. Hoare, MSc, RN, NP
School of Nursing and Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Jane Mills, PhD, MN, RN
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition, James Cook University, Cairns Campus, Cairns, Australia
Karen Francis, PhD, MEd, RN
Head of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to discuss the potential of reciprocal role modelling between an intergenerational nursing workforce in primary care.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify the role that new graduate nurses play in knowledge brokering in primary care.


Information use by practice nurses in New Zealand has not been widely described in the literature. Compared with their peers in the United Kingdom, there is little evidence to suggest that New Zealand practice nurses provide the same autonomous nurse-led services. Providing nurse-led services is contingent on knowledge and skills and the ability to source and use contemporary information. We sought to investigate information use by practice nurses in general practice in New Zealand.


A constructivist grounded theory design was employed to conduct the research. Initially the first author’s (KH) own general practice was the site of an ethnographic phase to acquire theoretical sensitivity. Following the ethnographic period, data were elicited from eleven practice nurses using an unstructured, in-depth interview technique. Of these participants, five were new graduates and six experienced practice nurses.


Reciprocal role modelling is the constructed grounded theory from this research and is comprised of three categories (in italics). Within supportive multi-disciplinary environments, new graduate nurses (all from the Millennial generation) and experienced practice nurses (Generation X or Baby Boomers) become willing to enter into a relationship. New graduate nurses subsequently deploy their unconscious expertise at sourcing information. A mutual reciprocal arrangement follows where the experienced practice nurses realise the potential of new graduate nurses in sourcing best practice information from the Internet while the new graduate nurses learn clinical and communication skills and knowledge of the community from the experienced practice nurses. The final category of becoming better practitioners is the outcome of reciprocal role modelling.


Graduate nurses performed the unconscious act of knowledge brokering in this study. Getting evidence into practice in a timely manner has been acknowledged internationally as a difficult process. Our study suggests a solution to this process.