The adaptation of new registered nurses

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kathleen S. Ashton (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Susan Letvak

Abstract: New registered nurses report they experience work-related stress, multiple challenges, and negative emotional responses during their first year in practice. There are concerns for quality of health care, patient safety, and turnover in nursing when the demands placed on new registered nurses exceed their capacity to respond. The purpose of this cross-sectional, correlational research study was to explore adaptation in new registered nurses. With the Roy Adaptation Model as the conceptual framework, personal attributes of new registered nurses and characteristics of their work environment were modeled as independent variables with four measures of adaptation: acute occupational fatigue, chronic occupational fatigue, negative affect, and intent to stay in their current position for two years. The New Registered Nurse Questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 250 new registered nurses in North Carolina with a professional tenure of 52 weeks or less. Data from 88 new registered nurses were included for analyses. Participants reported a mean acute occupational fatigue score of 64.88 (SD = 19.69) out of a possible zero to 100. The mean score for chronic occupational fatigue was lower at 41.86 (SD = 23.13) with a minimum-maximum of zero to 90. Of the eleven independent variables, only orientation status and perceived adjustment were statistically significant in their relationship with chronic occupational fatigue. The same two variables, orientation status and perceived adjustment, were also statistically significant in their relationship to negative affect. The last research question explored intent to stay in their current nursing position for two years. Nursing education at the baccalaureate level or higher and orientation status were statistically significant in their relationship with the response variable. These findings support the concern that new registered nurses are experiencing a compromised adaptive response as they take on the practice of nursing. Our understanding of the personal responses of new registered nurses has had limited exploration and the results of this research study provide a unique contribution in this area.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2012
Multiple linear regression, Negative affect, New Registered Nurses, Occupational fatigue, Roy Adaptation Model, Turnover intent
Nurses $x Job stress
Nursing $x Psychological aspects
Roy adaptation model

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