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J Adv Nurs. 2017 Nov;73(11):2577-2586. doi: 10.1111/jan.13344. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

A longitudinal, mixed methods investigation of newly qualified nurses' workplace stressors and stress experiences during transition.

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London South Bank University, London, UK.



To investigate transition in newly qualified nurses through an exploration of their stressors and stress experiences during their first 12 months postqualifying.


Globally, thousands of new nurses qualify annually. They are crucial for the profession and healthcare service delivery. Work-related stress has multiple serious consequences, yet there is a lack of robust, empirical evidence that directly analyses newly qualified nurses and the stress they feel and experience in the workplace. Understanding what causes newly qualified nurses' stress is vital to retaining and nurturing this vital component of the workforce.


Longitudinal, explanatory sequential mixed methods, cohort study.


At the point of qualification (n = 288), 6 months postqualifying (n = 107) and 12 months postqualifying (n = 86), newly qualified nurses completed the Nursing Stress Scale, with 14 completing a one-to-one interview at 12 months postqualifying. Data were collected from 2010 - 2012. Inferential statistics, "thematic analysis" and "side-by-side comparisons in a discussion" were used for analysis.


Workload was consistently the highest reported stressor with inadequate staffing and managing multiple role demands given as explanations. Incivility within the workplace was a noted stressor. Conversely, being part of "a good team" provided a civil, supportive, facilitative work environment. Entering nurse education with previous healthcare experience had a mediating effect on the reported frequency of stressors.


Newly qualified nurses encounter multiple work-related stressors over their first 12 months postqualifying, which are intrinsically entwined with their transition. Employing organizations need to be more proactive in managing their workload and addressing workplace incivility.


incivility; longitudinal, newly qualified nurse; mixed methods; stress; transition; workload

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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