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Student to newly qualified nurse - a daunting prospect..? - #WeCYPNs
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Student to newly Qualified Nurse - A daunting prospect?
- Are you a newly qualified Staff nurse, just about to embark into your first job?
- Are you a student nurse who is going to be qualifying shortly, and beginning to look for your first job as a qualified nurse?
- Are you a qualified nurse that has survived your first year or two as a qualified nurse?
- Are you a qualified nurse who acts a preceptor to newly qualified nurses?
- Are you part of the team that works with newly qualified nurses and wants to know how best you can support them within your role?
- Are you an Educator that prepares students for the transition to qualified status?
- Or are you a manager who wants to ensure that your newly qualified nurses feel well supported and that their transition from student to staff nurse is a smooth one?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions, this chat is for you!
Becoming a newly qualified nurse is a scary prospect. The day you put on the Staff Nurse uniform for the first time and must be one of the ‘grown ups’ that supposedly know what they’re doing, is daunting and exciting at the same time. Even 20+ years on, I can vividly remember being absolutely petrified before that first shift as a newly qualified nurse. Letting go of the comfort blanket that being a student offers and being expected, overnight to know what you were doing!
The retention of the nursing workforce continues to dominate debate in the healthcare sector. Recent statistics suggest that more nurses are leaving the profession that are entering the register. Increasing the number of nurses in nurse education is one option, however this will not in the longer term, address the issue if nurses continue to leave the profession once qualified.
The beginning of a newly qualified nurse's (NQN’s) career can be a challenging time. Initial experiences can shape how they develop in their career. To ensure the best possible start for newly qualified nurses,midwives and allied health professionals, a quality preceptorship programme is essential.
The NMC strongly recommends that all ‘new registrants’ have a period of preceptorship on commencing employment, this applies to those newly admitted to the NMC Register who have completed a pre-registration programme in the UK for the first time or have subsequently entered a new part of the register. New registrants also include those newly admitted to the register from other European Economic Area States and other nation states.
The NMC guidance (2006) states that preceptorship is about providing support and guidance, enabling ‘new registrants’ to make the transition from student to accountable practitioner to:
• practise in accordance with the NMC Code;
• develop confidence in their competence as a nurse, midwife or specialist community public health nurse;
To facilitate this the ‘new registrant’ should have:
• learning time protected in their first year of qualified practice; and
• have access to a preceptor with whom regular meetings are held.
The NMC recommends strongly that all ‘new registrants’ should have a formal period of preceptorship of about four months, but this may vary according to individual need and local circumstances.
Questions we will consider during the chat:
- What practical suggestions can we give for those NQN’s embarking on their new adventure?
- How does education support this transition and prepare students for their NQN status?
- What does preceptorship look like in your area?
- Is preceptorship given the respect it should be?
- What support should students be expecting/asking for, when job hunting?
- How can we support NQN’s better to provide them with the foundations to build their careers and make them stay?!