How do we best support newly qualified nurses in the workplace?

Dr Jane Wray, Director of Research, School of Health and Social Work, University of Hull, and Co-PI of the STaR (Supporting transition and retention of Newly Qualified Nurses) Project.

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat, on Wednesday 21st February between 8-9 pm (UK time), focuses on how we support newly qualified registered nurses during their transition into the workplace.

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account, contributing is straightforward, you can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc (the EBN chat hash tag) and contribute by sending a tweet (a message of no more than 280 characters, which can also include photos, links or video). You need to add #ebnjc to your tweet as this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.

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. Whilst the recent workforce strategy on the nursing workforce indicates that there has been some increase in adult nursing numbers, there are key concerns regarding shortfalls in district nursing and in nursing homes, mental health and learning disability nursing. The link between safe and effective care and the numbers of qualified nurses has been well established 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.

Retention of the existing workforce is therefore key to ensuring a sustainable nursing workforce. There have been renewed efforts to encourage retention including a number of initiatives underway that are actively working towards a solution to this challenge (for example NHS Employers, Capital Nurse, and Health Education England (HEE) Reducing Pre-registration Attrition and Improving Retention (RePAIR) project). Central to these solutions is the focus on a particular group of nurses considered to be at risk of leaving the profession – Newly Qualified Nurses (NQN). The first year is considered to be particularly challenging for NQN’s and how best this particular group of nurses can be supported to ensure successful transition into the workplace is the focus of the STaR project

This Evidence-Based Nursing twitter chat will discuss barriers and solutions to successful transition from student to NQN. Student nurses, qualified nurses, employers and academic institutions and students are invited to consider what effective transition planning might look like through discussion of the following questions;

  1. What support is important to NQN’s in the first few months of practice?
  2. What examples are there of best practice in relation to transition planning?
  3. Is there a role for universities in preparing students for the transition to the workplace?
  4. What would be the most important single piece of advice you would have for a newly-qualified nurse?

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