Publication Details

McInnes, S., Halcomb, E., Huckel, K. & Ashley, C. (2019). Experiences of registered nurses in a general practice-based new graduate program: A qualitative study. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 25 (4), 366-373.


Nurses are increasingly needed in primary healthcare settings to support community-based healthcare delivery. Programs to facilitate transition of new graduate nurses are well established in acute care however, there are few similar programs reported in settings like general practice. This paper sought to explore the experiences of new graduate registered nurses and their registered nurse mentors in a new graduate program within Australian general practice. New graduates (n = 9) and their mentors participated in interviews before, during and at the conclusion of a 12-month new graduate program. Interviews were digitally audio-recorded and professionally transcribed verbatim before being analysed using thematic analysis. Eighteen new graduate and 10 mentor interviews were conducted, revealing four themes. Preparation and Opportunities describes the influence that pre-registration education had on preparing nurses for general practice employment. Exceeding Expectations highlights the positive experiences within the program. Program Challenges draws attention to the difficulties experienced by participants, and Future Career Intentions explores future career plans. This study highlights that a general practice new graduate nurse program has the potential to build the workforce. However, strengthening undergraduate preparation of nurses around primary health care and addressing funding issues in general practice, are important to promote the success of such programs.



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