Subjective experiences of newly graduate nurses, in their first two years of employment, working in a forensic mental health service

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Background: Transition, from student nurse to new graduate, is multifaceted (Rush et al, 2015); the transitional year should consolidate learning from the undergraduate programme and support the individual into clinical practice (Hayman-White et al. 2007). Modifiable workplace factors (e.g. basic work conditions, work empowerment) play an important role in influencing new graduates’ job satisfaction and turnover intentions (Laschinger, 2012). By supporting new graduates in their first employed nursing role, there is potential for improvement in staff retention (and the cost benefits associated with this [Laschinger, 2012]). Given the National shortage, recruitment and retention issues in nursing (Flinkman et al, 2010), and that new graduates compose a significant proportion of the nursing workforce (Wing et al, 2015), the impact of this is significant. In addition to negative factors associated with the nursing profession i.e. burnout, work-family conflict, stress (Flinkman et al, 2010), forensic nursing is a speciality (Kent-Wilkinson, 2011) with additional working difficulties, such as custodial concerns, compulsory detention, forced treatment and the risk to others (Mason et al, 2008).

    Aims: To better understand what the experiences are of newly graduated mental health nurses working in a forensic service. Sampling method: Convenience sample from 1 x Secure Mental Health Service provider in NHS Scotland.

    Analytical approach: Theoretical thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The interview schedule will guide the categorisation of themes (for analysis), rather than prevalence of responses. The intention is to obtain a detailed account of the experiences of new graduate nurses. Coding of the data will also mirror this process. Findings: This project is still in progress; consequently no formal findings can be discussed at present. The interview schedule incorporates questioning about the participants day to day role, their prior experiences, pre-graduate preparation for the role, training, organisational support and their future aspirations.

    Discussion and Conclusion: The intention of this study is not bring contempt to the opportunity for new graduate nurse’s working in forensic care, but rather to explore their experiences. Martin et al (2007) published the positive experiences of new graduates working in forensic mental health nursing; participants denied feeling disadvantaged by its specialist nature (although they required sufficient numbers of competent and nurses as support). Depending on the results of this proposed study, opportunities may be identified for development work in supporting newly graduate nurses.

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    2. Hayman-White, K., Happell, B., Charleston, R., Ryan, R., 2007. Transition to mental health nursing through specialist graduate nurse programs in mental health: a review of the literature. Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 28(2), 185–200
    3. Kent-Wilkinson, A., 2011. Forensic nursing educational development: an integrated review of the literature. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 18: 236–246.
    4. Laschinger, H., 2012. Job and career satisfaction and turnover intentions of newly graduated nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 20: 472–484.
    5. Martin, T., Donley, M., Parkes, J. Wilkins, C., 2007. Evaluation of a forensic psychiatric setting to provide a graduate nurse programme. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 16(1), 28–34.
    6. Mason, T., Lovell, A. and Coyle, D. 2008, Forensic psychiatric nursing: skills and competencies: I role dimensions. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 15: 118–130
    7. Rush, K., Adamack, M., Gordon, J., Janke, R., Ghement, I., 2015. Orientation and transition programme component predictors of new graduate. Journal of Nursing Management. 23: 143–155.
    8. Wing, T., Regan, S., Laschinger, H., 2015. The influence of empowerment and incivility on the mental health of new graduate nurses. Journal of Nursing Management. 23, 632–643.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2018
    Event24th International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference 2018: Place, Purpose and Politics: Re-imagining Mental Health Care - Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, United Kingdom
    Duration: 13 Sept 201814 Sept 2018


    Conference24th International Mental Health Nursing Research Conference 2018
    Abbreviated titleMHNR
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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