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Studies corroborate this by highlighting that the first three months of becoming a newly qualified nurse have been reported by such nurses to be a sharp shock, as prior expectations of theory-based nursing are challenged by having such ideals of person-centred care made often impossible through different care practices expected within NHS settings being reinforced within health care teams (Kelly and Ahern, 2009; Hollywood, 2011). The influence of power dynamics and trust on multidisciplinary collaboration: a qualitative case study of type 2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 13 (2), pp. As multi-disciplinary teamwork in NHS care systems is a key aspect of NHS policy (Do H, 2010; NHS, 2013), newly qualified nurses can feel coerced into adopting different care practices that challenge their theoretical understanding of best practice, which can lead to tensions and, as studies reveal, could lead to distrust and poor staff morale (Mc Donald, Jayasuriya, and Harris, 2012).
It is estimated that approximately 60% of the nursing workforce consists of newly qualified nurses: consequently there is much literature that examines the transitions that individuals experience as they progress from the student nurse to the newly qualified nurse (Whitehead, 2001; 2011).
The recruitment and retention of nurses globally is a major issue, and hence healthcare systems need to address how best to ensure smooth transition into the professional nurse role to ensure newly qualified nurses successfully adjust into their new roles (Duchscher, 2008).
The provision of preceptors and supervisors is essential to enable newly qualified nurses to have access to contexts in which personal and professional values can also be discussed so that they are able to not simply assimilate dominant practices inherent in the NHS setting but to also question them. A Process of Becoming: The Stages of New Nursing Graduate Professional Role Transition.
Such strategies can thus offer newly qualified nurses context in which to reflect upon such practice experiences so that they can make sense of their new roles and re-negotiate new identities.
Consequently as Kelly and Ahern (2009) identified, it is no wonder that newly qualified nurses report finding the transitional process overwhelming and stressful, confirming Mooney’s (2007) findings that nurses are unprepared and experiencing unexpected difficulties. (2006) The theory-practice gap: impact of professional-bureaucratic work conflict on newly-qualified nurses.
Whitehead (2011) and Scully (2011) argue that such difficulties are a result of a theory-practice gap, which leads to nurses experiencing a conflict amongst theoretical, personal and professional values (Maben, Latter and Clark, 2006).
Despite NMC (2006) recommendations however, the utilisation of preceptorship support strategies in practice is limited, with its use across the NHS being fragmented and inconsistent.
However the literature does demonstrate that preceptorship strategies can be very effective in supporting newly qualified nurses in successfully managing such transitions, with student nurses reporting that preceptorship facilitated easier transitions into clinical practice and helped them to negotiate better understandings of their new roles (Mooney, 2007).
The literature indicates however that student nurses are simply not being effectively supported by both the NHS health care system and pre-registration training, which is leading to ineffective training which results in poorly prepared student nurses with expectations that do not translate into their actual new ‘professional’ nursing roles (Mooney, 2007; O’Shea and Kelly 2007).
As Clark and Holmes (2007, p.1211) state, nursing education does not offer students “the knowledge, skills or confidence necessary for independent practice”.