Qualitative evaluation of graduate nurses reasons for 'loving nursing'.
Graduate nurses from the Graduate Nurses e-cohort Study of Australian, New Zealand and United Kingdom, provided electronic responses to the open ended-question: "I love nursing because...". Data was then subjected to qualitative content analysis.
Graduate nurses place great value on nursing work as a profession about people. Their language exemplifies this when they describe their love of nursing for its person-centric qualities where they can fully participate in patient care, help, and support. This person centeredness extends to include the family of their patients.
Graduate nurses additionally identify as part of the people that makes nursing work appealing, their co-workers. They enjoy working with a team, developing networks, and working with great people.
Overall, the quality that makes nursing so appealing is outside the self or beyond the ‘i’. That is, external to the Graduate nurse.
Graduate nurses cherish nursing work’s variability. The fact that every work day is different, unpredictable, never boring and always offering something new to learn makes nursing work wonderful. They love the challenge and challenges nursing work brings.
Graduate nurses know that nursing work offers them opportunity to travel and work abroad. Nursing work offers mobility.
This mobility provides opportunities that diversify employment at a ward level and beyond; and offers career choices and job security. Graduate nurses identify as a work characteristic they cherish, its flexibility in terms of shift work and making their work fit into their lives.
Overall, the quality that makes nursing so appealing is it offers them movement within and without.
Graduate nurses love that nursing work makes them think critically and problem solve. They are able to continue to learn, increasing their knowledge & skills whilst also passing on new knowledge and skills to others. To this end, they grow as a person and professionally.
Nursing work is furthers self-development and worth because of its capacity to inspire and motivate; provide them confidence and competence; earn them respect and they perceive they are respected; nursing work allows a degree of autonomy and leadership. It gives them joy.
Graduate nurses find their chosen profession rewarding. This is understood by those they care for simply saying: “Thank you” and the graduate recognises their work is appreciated and fulfilling.
For a minority, the quality of nursing is measured by its alignment with a ‘calling’ or the work of God. For the majority, however, the power of what they do is gauged by its capacity to impact society. They love making a difference, changing peoples’ lives, affecting care and having a lasting impact on those they care for. Nursing work is for the greater good.
Overall, the quality that makes nursing so appealing is internal or for the ‘i’. That is, internal and for the Graduate nurse.
The views of graduate nurses facilitates critical reflection on current practices and systems. Whilst the nurse clinician will benefit from these shared views, so too will nurse educators, nurse leaders and nursing workforce planning representatives.
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