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May 2012, Volume 42 Number 5 , p 18 - 22


  • Barbara Jeanne Pinchera DNP, ANP-BC


WHAT CONTRIBUTES to the successful transition of the new nurse into practice? Many newly licensed nurses experience high levels of stress and anxiety during this transition.1-3 The attrition rate may be as high as 60% in their initial employment.4-6 In a 2006 report by the Nursing Executive Center, newly licensed nurse turnover was found to be 75% at 2 years.7 This rate has hardly budged in the past 20 years, suggesting that further research is needed to understand the essence of newly licensed nurses' experiences. Healthcare organizations with high attrition rates face considerable costs that are often unrecognized.This qualitative study used phenomenological inquiry to understand the essence of the experience of the newly licensed nurse. Qualitative research, valuable for studying topics that aren't yet well defined, is usually the first step in understanding a problem well enough to create interventions and do quantitative research on the topic. Additionally, this type of research lets one describe and examine concepts, allowing the essence of the experience to emerge.8The aim of the study is to provide insight into the initial experience in practice. This study provides information about the challenges particular to these participants and general implications for improving nursing practice.The purpose of this study was to understand the experience of newly licensed nurses within their first 18 months of employment. The research question to be answered by this investigation was: "What's the experience of newly licensed nurses within their first 18 months of employment?"The literature review focused on issues that relate to newly licensed nurses, including transition into practice, attrition rates, the nursing shortage, and residency programs and internship. Findings revealed that newly licensed nurses require intense support during their transition into practice.9 The literature also revealed that the nursing shortage is a serious healthcare crisis, and addressing

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