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Nurse Educ Pract. 2018 Jan;28:86-91. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2017.10.007. Epub 2017 Oct 7.

Evolving career choice narratives of new graduate nurses.

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Dalhousie University School of Nursing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Electronic address:
University of Toronto Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Dalhousie University School of Nursing, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


This article describes findings from one stage of a longitudinal study of the professional socialization experiences of Millennial nurses as they prepared for graduation and transition to practice. This study employed an interpretive narrative methodology guided by Polkinghorne's theory of narrative identity. Analysis of face-to-face interviews and journal entries by Millennial nursing students uncovered the formal professional socialization experiences over four years of nursing education. Participants include six Millennial nursing student participants (born after 1980) interviewed approximately one-month aftergraduation. These six participants are a voluntary subset of twelve who were interviewed prior to beginning their nursing studies, the analysis of which is captured in Price et al. (2013a) and Price et al. (2013b). Narrative analysis of the post-graduation interviews resulted in three main themes: 'Real Nursing: Making a Difference', 'The Good Nurse: Defined by Practice' and 'Creating Career Life Balance'. Graduate nurses strive to provide excellent nursing care as they transition into the workforce and identify a need for ongoing peer and professional supports to assist their ongoing professional socialization. Ongoing formal socialization and professional development is required to support the transition and retention of new nurse graduates in the workplace and the profession. Millenial generation nurses seek opportunities for career mapping, goal setting and formal mentorship by role models and peers to actualize their professional aspirations.


Career choice; Education; Interprofessional relations; New graduates; Nursing

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