Graduate nurses refer to new individuals entering the nursing profession (Blais, 2010). Often times, they come in with high expectations of their jobs. Their hope is that their jobs will be satisfactory and offer them their dream careers. On the contrary, the reality is normally shocking, almost tragic for most of them due to the different environment that they face in the field. For instance, the working situation is very different compared to the learning situation that they were initially exposed to. This leads to high turnover rates among the graduate nurses. This point signifies one thing. This is the fact that graduate nurses indeed face severe stressful conditions in their work.
There are several reasons that lead to graduate nurse stress. First, the incapacity to adapt to a new demanding working environment, sophisticated health technology, and extremely high patient perspicacity leads to turnover rates ranging from 35% to 60% among graduate nurses in the first year of service alone (Hughes,2008). This leads to serious implications for the profession. For instance, other than cost implications associated with nurse turnover, it leads to inadequate staff levels in the field. This means that in the long run, the quality of service delivery in nursing is greatly affected. Similarly, the fact that new nurses attribute their stress to the use of new technology, the safety of patients is something to worry about. Perhaps the best thing that stakeholders in the nursing profession could resort to is identifying solutions to the issue of graduate nurse stress. This calls for a review of graduate stress management policies to ensure that patient safety and quality among graduate nurses is maintained.
To adequately deal with the issue of clinical risk management in maintaining quality and safety within health institutions, several things have to be dealt with. Essentially such interventions will have to focus on ensuring that stress levels among graduate nurses are resolved. Evidently, when the graduate nurses are stress free, then quality will improve as well as safety. There is need to make it clear to the graduate nurses about the philosophy of clinical care that focuses on patient safety and quality service at their workplace from the onset (Nettina, 2009).This prepares them for any unprecedented outcomes of the job rather than when they are caught by surprise. Secondly, to better manage graduate stress, it is important that the value of the nurses’ proficiency concerning clinical quality and patient safety is identified. Any deficiencies identified will offer an opportunity for training on such important issues and in the long run quality and safety will be improved immensely.
Graduate nurses need satisfaction in their jobs. This can be easily facilitated by allowing the nurses to get involved in any clinical decision-making processes and the preparation of the clinical care systems (Mazurek, 2010). When nurses feel that they also have a say in how the practices are conducted at the workplaces, their stress levels go down. This increases their awareness of intricate health issues and problems thus boosting their knowledge in healthcare. The end result is that the quality of clinical service improves and safety is well taken care of as instances of clinical mistakes are reduced significantly. All the above mentioned interventions are only suggestions, however, if they can be put into practice, then quality and safety will improve.
Blais, K. (2010). Professional Nursing Practice. London: Prentice Hall.
Hughes, R. J. (Ed.). (2008). Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. RockVille (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Mazurek, B. (2010). Nursing. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Nettina, S. (2009). Manual of Nursing Practice. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.