Exploring experienced nurses' attitudes, views and expectations of new graduate nurses: A critical review

Michelle Freeling, Stephen Parker

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    46 Citations (Scopus)


    Objectives: This critical review evaluates the existing primary research literature to identify experienced registered nurses' attitudes, views and expectations of graduate nurses which may create a barrier for optimal graduate nurse performance. Design/Data Sources: Relevant primary studies were identified by searching online databases using a wide variety of appropriate keyword combinations. Online databases including Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, PsycINFO and Google Scholar were comprehensively searched for relevant research. The selected studies were subjected to a rigorous critical appraisal to evaluate the studies and to determine if the findings were applicable to practice. Review methods: A manual method of thematic analysis was conducted to highlight explicit and implicit themes from the reviewed studies. Themes were grouped and continually reduced until only essential themes remain. Themes and subthemes emerged which were then compared and contrasted to analyse results. The four major themes identified include nursing skills, inadequate preparation during academic program, attitudes and ward culture and concerns with confidence. Subthemes were identified within these categories. Results: Findings indicate experienced registered nurses discussed themes including 'nursing skills', 'inadequate preparation during academic program', 'attitudes and ward culture' and 'concerns with confidence'. Concerns were raised including the value of traditional training versus tertiary education programs, coping with unprofessional behaviour and inadequate preparation for practice. Discussion and implications for practice: Further research is required to fully address management of the theory-practice gap, as well as the attitudes of experienced registered nurses educated in traditional programs versus those in tertiary education programs. Nurse managers should be aware of the possible occurrence of unprofessional behaviour, and increased workplace training regarding lateral violence would assist in raising awareness regarding negative and unacceptable behaviour.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e42-e49
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number2
    Early online date2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


    • Communication barriers
    • Job satisfaction
    • New graduate nurses
    • Nurse attitudes
    • Registered nurses
    • Work environment


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