Being a team leader: newly registered nurses relate their experiences

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This paper presents a study that explores how newly qualified registered nurses experience their leadership role in the ward-based nursing care team.


A nurse's clinical leadership affects the quality of care provided. Newly qualified nurses experience difficulties during the transition period from student to qualified professional and find it challenging to lead nursing care.


Twelve nurses were interviewed and the transcribed texts analysed using qualitative content analysis to assess both manifest and latent content.


Five themes were identified: feeling stranded; forming well-functioning teams; learning to lead; having the courage, strength, and desire to lead; and ensuring appropriate care. The findings indicate that many factors limit nurses’ leadership but some circumstances are supportive.


The leadership prerequisites for newly registered nurses need to improve, emphasizing different ways to create a supportive atmosphere that promotes professional development and job satisfaction.

Implications for nursing management

To increase nurse retention and promote quality of care, nurse managers need to clarify expectations and guide and support newly qualified nurses in a planned way.

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