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Nursing Essay: Importance of Resilience for Qualified Nurses in Transition


Task: Write a detailed nursing essay critically identifying and discussing the importance of a personal resilience toolkit for newly qualified nurses when transitioning to their initial role as a Registered Nurse.


As evident in the present context of nursing essay, healthcare plays a crucial role in our daily lives, and so does the professionals in this field, nurses being among the key players. Adequate mental, psychological, and physical support is essential for any health worker. Many employers in Australia and other western nations worldwide consider newly graduated nurses to be unprepared in the practical workspace hence the need for Transition to Professional Practice Programs(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 401).The burgeoning demand for nurses worldwide, especially during the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, has created more opportunities in the field of nursing (based on a report by the World Health Organization on 'State of the World’s Nursing’, 2020). Consequently, the number of newly qualified nurses continues to rise to try to fill the gap. The paper points out the benefits of resilience among new graduates transitioning to professional identity as newly qualified nurses. Transitioning from a novice graduate nurse to an advanced one usually is a challenging phenomenondue to the change from theory to practice to fit the workplace environment(Moorhead, 2019, p. 213). Moreover, the process is accompanied by pressures and difficulties that baccalaureate-nursing studentshave to overcome hence the need for personal resilience (Lyu et al., 2020, p. 167).The nursing discipline possesses many psychological strains and stressors that might discourage Newly Qualified Nurses from progressing with their career. To help overcome such challenges, researchers like Peter Mellor and Carolyn Gregoric proposed various socio-emotional strategies and methods to assist in developing personal resilience among novice nursing graduates in the transition period. Below are several such strategies and their importance concerning personal resilience for newly qualified registered nurses:

The Strategy of Fostering Moral Courage and Managing Moral Distress
Being a tiresome and stressful professional, nursing requires one to act morally despite the difficulties and solve issues ethically as healthcare professionals. Developing moral courage needs strong communication and internal control to cope up with the practical working environment. Newly Graduated Registered Nurses should not be hard on themselvesduring clinical experiences by setting high self-expectations that might lead to anxiety and stress disorder (Mellor et al., 2017, p. 402). Contrastingly, moral distress implies the moral complexity of a hard-to-solve situation that causes painful feeling and mental anguish, usually expressed emotionally by newly qualified nurses in transition(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 402). Giving students a chance to explore and analyze thecorrelation between moral courage in managing moral distress proves to be helpful in their nursing career.

Recognition and Regulation of Emotions
The strategy employs the concept of emotional intelligence in controlling one's emotions in adverse situations that an individual is unfamiliar with (Mellor et al., 2017, p. 402). Throughout the nursing coursework, integration of emotional intelligence in the mastery of emotions should be significantly encouraged. This is crucial in nurturing good leadership roles in helping others and oneself. Effective education and support will help newly graduated nurses overcome reality shock through self-regulation, which assists in understanding the effects of mindful feelings on others and personal decision-making.

The Strategy of Understanding the Nature of Transition
For physical, emotional, intellectual, and developmental preparation, Newly Graduated Registered Nurses should clearly understand the kind of transition. Students should conceptualize the theory learned as undergraduates and practically employ it in the real world of nursing via the ‘transition to practice’ phenomenon(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 398). Moreover, familiarizing the nature of transition empowers Newly Graduated Nurses in becoming ethical and moral employees.

Interpretive Style Strategy with Personal Self-Support and Reflection
The qualities of healthcare services provided by NGRNs (New Graduate Registered Nurses) are negatively affected by stress. To manage and overcome stress in the transition period, interpretive style aids in resolving individual self-support among NGRNs through a good ‘psychological capital’. The latter implies a “positive psychological development state, encompassing optimism, hope, resilience, and confidence. Furthermore, reflecting on cases whereby there is an opportunity to choose from both ineffective and effective cognitions to manage and reduce job stress(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 403).

Social Intelligence and Fitting in
Social intelligence involves good interpersonal relationship, which entails one’s ability to interact well with others and empathize, influence and inspire them(Moorhead, 2019, p. 213). Newly qualified registered nurses tend to face the issue of ‘fitting in’ in the working environment due to the shame of being considered amateurs. By integrating social intelligence throughout the discipline of nursing, new graduates will have a little or minimal problem during the transition period as they will understand that not knowing everything is not stupidity. Moreover, the strategy can beimproved by active involvement in health services via projects and committees to help the newly qualified nurses ‘fit in’in the clinical practice environment(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 403).

The Strategy of Minimizing Horizontal Violence
Horizontal violence involves conflict between people of the same level or position in an organization.Most new graduates in transition to professional nurses experience various forms of harassment and violence from staff nurses, physicians, and surprisingly mentor(Mellor et al., 2017, p. 402).Learning practical communication skills on the campus will help new graduates express themselves professionally to clinicians and other staff members to reduce such cases.

The Strategy of Assessing Progress and Performance
The strategy assists newly qualified registered nurses by encouraging hard work and competence via the feedback obtained. Positive and constructive feedback on the performance of novice nurses is a motivating factor hence work efficacy(Adams & Gillman, 2016, p. 518). Most experienced nurses are unenthusiastic in providing constructive feedback, which discourages newly registered nurses, as portrayed from Australian and European articles (Mellor et al., 2017, p. 403).Self- Assessment is the best alternative (obtained from patients’ feedback and maintaining a work portfolio) in case of unsuccessful feedback from experienced nurses.

To aid in the Transition to Professional Practice, the Australian National Government Health Reform, in conjunction with Northern Sydney Medicare Local (NSML), initiated a one-year graduate program comprised of transition facilitator and preceptors(Aggar et al., 2017, p. 4).The program's implementation plays a crucial role in providing ongoing support to graduates in the transition period. Graduates benefit much through such programs due to networking opportunities, virtual educational materials and training resources to facilitate the growth of healthcare services (Aggar et al., 2017, p. 4). Moreover, the program serves as an effective tool for widening the extent of experiential learning.

Additionally, integration of other programs such as induction and orientation, clinical coaching, mentorship and simulation-based learning throughout the course of nursing proves to be helpful to graduates and employers. Through effective implementation of the latter programs, employers will be able to assess work performance as the novice nurses will understand the dos and don'ts in the professional field of nursing, thus reducing anxiety and shock to improve job efficacy (Innes &Calleja, 2018, p. 69). For instance, Clinical Coaching Programs assists graduates to explore the reality of nursing by enabling peer support to make new graduate nurses feel at home hence encouraging teamwork to overcome social barriers by the concept of collaborative learning (Williamson et al., 2020, p. 102742). Contrastingly, graduate simulation programs incorporate behavioural and cognitive skills in solving difficulties experienced in the transition period by newly qualified registered nurses. It assists students to practice their decision-making and skills in the context of real-life situations without endangering a patient's wellbeing (Cant & Cooper, 2017, p. 66).

The expectations of new graduate nurses by the staff and employers tend to be demotivating since the senior staff and experienced nurses expect the graduates to multitask and 'know everything'. This expectation leads typically to anxiety and stress to the new graduate nurses with the belief that we do not need support from supervisors since we are learned individuals (Mellor et al., 2017, p. 403). High self-expectations by new graduates also causes stress and lack of confidence in the workplace with the fear of being regarded ‘stupid’ by some staff for not knowing everything (Mellor et al., 2017, p. 402).

In general, resilience is an essential element for any newly qualified registered nurse as it helps oneovercome physical, mental, and emotionally stressful situations in nursing. Newly graduated nurses should be trained, recruited, and emotionally supported to enhance their personal flexibility to serve a given community. Many researchers propose different approaches in dealing with the challenges of transition. Different people have different coping skills and behavioural changes, and as a result, the relevance of a given approach depends significantly on a person’s preference and beliefs.

Adams, J. E., & Gillman, L. (2016).Developing an evidence-based transition program for graduate nurses.Contemporary Nurse, 52(5), 511–521.

Aggar, C., Bloomfield, J., Thomas, T. H., & Gordon, C. J. (2017). Australia's first transition to professional practise in primary care program for graduate registered nurses: a pilot study. BMC Nursing, 16(1), 2–11.

Cant, R. P., & Cooper, S. J. (2017). Use of simulation-based learning in undergraduate nurse education: An umbrella systematic review. Nurse Education Today, 49, 63–71.

Innes, T., &Calleja, P. (2018). Transition support for new graduate and novice nurses in critical care settings: An integrative review of the literature. Nurse Education in Practice, 30, 62–72.

Lyu, L., Xu, L. Y., Liu, M., & Li, G. H. (2020). Resilience in new nurses: a qualitative study. Frontiers of Nursing, 7(2), 161–168.

Mellor, P., Gregoric, C., &Gillham, D. (2017). Strategies new graduate registered nurses require to care and advocate for themselves: A literature review. Contemporary Nurse, 53(3), 390–405.

Moorhead, B. (2019). Transition and Adjustment to Professional Identity as a Newly Qualified Social Worker.Australian Social Work, 72(2), 206–218.

Williamson, G. R., Kane, A., Plowright, H., Bunce, J., Clarke, D., & Jamison, C. (2020).‘Thinking like a nurse’.Changing the culture of nursing students? clinical learning: Implementing collaborative learning in practice.Nurse Education in Practice, 43, 102742.


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