Darvill, Angela (2013) A qualitative study into the experiences of newly qualified children's nurses during their transition into children's community nursing teams. Doctoral thesis, College of Health and Social Care.

This thesis provides an analytical account of a qualitative research study into the experience of eight newly qualified children’s nurses during their transition into children’s community nursing teams in the North West of England. The study took place at a time when the recruitment of newly qualified children’s nurses into U.K. children’s community nursing teams was not only a new professional endeavour, but one that met with some resistance due to the prevailing attitude that the community was an inappropriate first post destination for them. The transition experience of their contemporaries, whose first post was within hospital based services, has been well researched. Indeed the resulting notion of “reality shock” led to major changes in clinical practice. However, little research attention has been paid to the experiences of transition of those who take up first posts in the community. The findings indicate that there were factors that both facilitated and hindered the development of their professional identity as children’s community nurses. Of significance is that the participants did not report the shock like reactions described by their contemporaries in acute hospital based settings. They described an ideal transition experience as one which included a period of lengthy and consistent support, the allocation of contrived workloads and continued support during independent visits. However, this ideal experience of transition was often disrupted through circumstances such as perceptions of being undervalued, lack of colleagues’ acknowledgement of the value of their undergraduate learning experiences and the allocation of complex cases requiring skills and knowledge beyond their competence level. The notion of an ideal experience of transition which accommodates individual differences during transition as described in this thesis offers a pragmatic solution to other children’s community nursing teams seeking to ease the transition experience of newly qualified children’s nurses. It also challenges the assumption that they are an inappropriate first post destination for newly qualified children’s nurses.

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