Should I take my first offer? A graduate nurse survey.

P. Glover, J. Clare, D. Longson, A. De Bellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The newly graduated registered nurses' experiences of applying for graduate nurse positions and securing employment in nursing has received little attention in academic nursing literature. This article reports on a survey questionnaire of a cohort of 1995 graduates from the School of Nursing at Flinders University of South Australia. The survey was the first phase of a research project dealing with the transition from education to employment or from university student to registered nurse. The aim of the survey was to explore the graduates' experiences of searching and applying for employment, and their entry into a graduate nurse program (GNP) or employment as a registered nurse. Results indicate a disjointed and haphazard road that graduates must negotiate to secure a position. Anecdotal evidence suggests significant angst among final year nursing undergraduates at Flinders University of South Australia regarding a GNP place. The application process is costly in time and money for graduates and employer organisations. The duplication is unnecessary in this era of economic rationalism, cost-effectiveness and sustainability. Nursing students in the final semester of their undergraduate program need to focus on developing their role as a registered nurse, but instead are focusing on multiple applications to GNPs or employment for when they are registered. It is argued that a consortium, which centralises the process of application, would be beneficial to the graduates. Also, the limited number of GNP places available in the acute care sector, indicates that graduate registered nurses are working as registered nurses without any formal support. The recommendation is that GNPs be extended into diverse settings where nurses work such as in aged care, nursing agencies, rural and remote services, and the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalThe Australian journal of advanced nursing : a quarterly publication of the Royal Australian Nursing Federation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


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