Bridging the Gap by Supporting Our Future
Andrea Sweeny, MSN, RN-BC; Danielle Coyne, BSN,RN, CAPA
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According to Kramer (1974), novice nurses transition through three phases during their first year including a period of reality shock. Between 35-60% of new graduates change their place of employment during the first year and can account for more than 50% of total nurse turnover in some hospitals (Newhouse, Hoffman, & Hairston, 2007). In order to decrease attrition, supportive measures are needed for new graduates. Although new graduates identify a mentor during orientation, they experience difficulty meeting during work hours due to patient care needs. When novice nurses do not ask questions, they are assumed to be competent, which leads to feeling alone, unsure and can potentially place patients at harm (Jewell, 2013). In order to provide support during the novice nurse transition, a novice nurse support group was developed for novice nurses who were on-boarded to a fast-paced cardiac progressive care unit by the leadership team. The goal of the support group is to improve interpersonal relationships between novice and veteran nurses, retain new graduates, and improve staff satisfaction by 20% over six months. In February 2016, a support group was implemented for nurses who met on a monthly basis. During the meetings, novice nurses shared positive and negative experiences they’ve encountered while receiving advice, guidance and suggestions from the facilitators, which included leadership and veteran nurses. A survey was sent out prior to the start of the support group and at the six month mark. Results indicate that by implementing the novice nurse support group, this unit was able to meet the goal of improving staff relationships, retaining new graduates and increasing engagement and staff satisfaction.
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