Staff retention is a big issue in hospitals. There can be advantages in hiring newly licensed RNs, but some hospitals and workplaces may pay insufficient attention to helping new nurses with the challenging transition from classroom to clinical practice. In our November issue, some of these issues are brought more clearly to light by an original research article called “Hearing the Voices of Newly Licensed RNs: The Transition to Practice.”

“The first few months of employment is a crucial time in a nurse’s career,” write the authors of this small study. According to interviews with newly licensed RNs conducted by the authors, the following factors can make a big difference:

  • The quality of the preceptor—is the preceptor knowledgeable, adequately experienced, and nonjudgmental?
  • Professional growth and the development of confidence over time in terms of time-management, communication skills, and learning from experience.
  • A sense of being nurtured by the program, the preceptor, and peers.
  • The thoroughness and effectiveness of orientation.

Read the article, or listen to an author podcast on our Web site. What worked in your own transition to practice? What didn’t work? Or how do you help others with this transition? We’d love to know. —Jacob Molyneux, senior editor

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