Nurse Residents’ First-Hand Accounts on Transition to Practice

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The first year of nursing practice is critical to developing new graduate nurses into safe practitioners. Many new graduate nurses leave the profession because of job stress, lack of organizational support, poor nurse-physician relations, unreasonable workloads, uncivil work environments, and difficulty transitioning into practice. In response, Nurse Residency programs reflect an organizational commitment to support new nurses, allowing them time and support to become competent professional nurses.

Purpose and method

Thirty-seven new graduate nurses employed in a hospital in a northwestern state participated in a descriptive qualitative study to examine the “lived experience” as new nurses and to assess the level of job satisfaction during the first year of their nursing practice.


New graduate nurses described themes related to their first year of nursing practice including rhythm in the chaos, feeling valued, stress from ‘not knowing’, life-long learning, and preserving the profession.


Having supportive preceptors and nursing staff, feeling valued by the health care team, and being perceived as a vital member of the organization contributed to job satisfaction and overall commitment to the profession.