Experiences of Pediatric Oncology Nurses: The First Year of Hire


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Abstract

As the number of specialty pediatric oncology units increases, many units are hiring increasing numbers of newly graduated registered nurses. Intense specialty training and an emotionally demanding work environment place new nurses at risk for job frustration and early job resignation. The purpose of this study is to investigate experiences of pediatric oncology nurses during their first year of hire using a phenomenological approach. Participants were 6 nurses employed on an inpatient pediatric oncology unit in a tertiary care center located in the Intermountain West. A purposive sampling approach was used. Data were collected via semistructured interviews, which were analyzed for specific statements and themes providing description and meaning to nurses' experiences. Eleven themes in the categories of professional role development, a unique practice, and personal reflection were identified. Practice implications include supporting new nurses beyond the acquisition of skills and knowledge and including opportunities for personal reflection as part of the orientation experience. Successful role development is essential to ensure the retention of new pediatric oncology nurses as well as their future achievements within the subspecialty.

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