Preparing new graduate nurses for pediatric nursing practice: a literature review and curriculum blueprint
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AbstractThe transition from student to professional practice nurse is difficult to navigate. New graduates are expected to enter independent practice with little extra support. Due to the nursing shortage and current economic realities, new graduates are being recruited into specialty areas such as pediatrics. It is important that adequate support is maintained so these nurses are retained in the healthcare system. The goal of this project was to develop an orientation curriculum for new graduate nurses entering practice at a tertiary care children’s hospital. A thematic analysis of the literature was performed that identified four major themes related to the new graduate transition process and pediatric orientation programs. These themes were: challenges new graduates face with transition to a new role; the requirement of a supportive environment for new graduate nurses; the importance of skill and knowledge attainment; and retention and turnover of new graduates. This thematic analysis informed the development of a new graduate orientation program. A theoretical framework of social constructivism and Fink’s taxonomy of significant learning were used to direct the curriculum development. The intent of designing a blueprint of an orientation program for this group of nurses is to provide guidance to educators responsible for supporting the transition of new graduate nurses from new graduate to practicing specialized pediatric nurse to ensure that they develop the requisite skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to practice in a safe, competent manner.