The theory of organisational socialisation and its potential for improving transition experiences for new graduate nurses

Craig Phillips, Adrian Esterman, Amanda Kenny

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Graduate nurse transition continues to remain a difficult time for many new graduate nurses, with significant numbers of graduates being dissatisfied, ultimately considering leaving or exiting the profession. Currently, many graduate nurse programs within Australia and internationally reflect a homogeneous nature pertaining to content and program delivery. A refinement of graduate nurse transition programs through an adaptation of a model of organisational socialisation supports a more individualised approach to transition, improving graduate outcomes and addressing attrition rates. Objectives: To propose a model which supports the accommodation of new graduates within a health service improving both new graduate and health service outcomes through; greater levels of job satisfaction, increased commitment to an organisation and decreased turnover of new staff. Design: Theoretical paper based on a program of research. Methods: An adaptation of a model of organisational socialisation was applied to the process of transition for newly qualified graduate nurses. This adaptation was informed by a larger 2012 Australian study (findings reported extensively elsewhere) with 459 newly qualified graduate nurses reporting their transition experiences of the first year of practice. Results: Newly qualified graduate nurses reported effective socialisation with transition based on the following; enduring and continuous orientation throughout the first year of practice, allocation of patient responsibilities reflecting a level of acuity commensurate with a beginning skill set to meet care needs, and feedback of a respectful nature to improve confidence and competence in practice. Negative transition experiences were noted by many new graduates if these factors were not considered. Conclusions: Graduate nurse turnover is costly and destabilising for health services. One means of addressing this is the creation of positive working environments which appropriately socialise new graduates into health services. Accommodating new employees through; individual recognition, modelling of behaviours and developing positive transition outcomes will improve graduate nurse satisfaction and importantly retention.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)118-124
    Number of pages7
    JournalNurse Education Today
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


    • Graduate nurses
    • Organisational socialisation
    • Retention
    • Transition


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