Project 2000 diplomates' perceptions of their experiences of transition from student to staff nurse

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SummaryThis paper presents findings from an exploratory study of the transition experiences of newly qualified Project 2000 diplomates.A qualitative approach was utilized involving in-depth interactive interviews with a sample of 10 staff nurses.The data indicate that some aspects of transition were initially difficult, but that all those interviewed were enjoying nursing.Similarities to the experiences of 'traditionally prepared' colleagues are highlighted by the use of phrases such as 'in at the deep end' and 'cast adrift', reflecting the practice environment once qualified.Paradoxically initial transition for Project 2000 diplomates is characterized by a lack of confidence, while their questioning approach to practice and a willingness to ask others when unsure ('no bluffing') suggests a high degree of confidence.Preceptorship in the context of a supportive environment is suggested as a model for easing the transition process. A re-evaluation of what an initial preparation course can and should achieve, and a re-assessment of the skills and knowledge expected of newly qualified nurses, are also indicated.

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