Describe your acculturation experience as a new graduate to the culture of the nursing profession. How is it similar or different from the acculturation experience of a new nursing colleague who joined your team within the past year?
Nurses have to deal with different cultures from different parts of the world given an increase in diversity within the nursing student population, and the nursing profession. The transition from a nursing student into this cultural setting and into being a nurse requires time to adapt to changes in responsibilities, identity, environment, and role (Della Ratta, 2016). This is mainly because of the transition from a supervised environment to an environment that is authentic and that requires them to care for ailing persons. Several researchers have confirmed that many fresh nursing graduates are faced with several challenges in their first year of practice after graduation. The challenges impact them psychologically and affect their perseverance with many opting to resign. Many fresh graduate nurses are faced with challenges such as work dissatisfaction, reality, stress, and shock (Hofler & Thomas, 2016).
I started my nursing practice in a large private hospital after graduating from nursing school. My overall experience was positive. This is because I had prepared myself psychologically for the crises that are commonly encountered during the transition from nursing student to nursing practice. Luckily, I had an already established anticipatory socialization program in the hospital I was posted. Colleagues in this hospital were friendly and this helped me learn fast and execute assigned roles successfully. I was also given a very supportive preceptor who encouraged me to ask for help and as a result, I was able to quickly adjust to the new environment. I also got a lot of support from the unit manager and the nursing team and support from colleagues helped me get over challenging experiences and stressful days. Nurses also helped whenever I needed assistance in making my transition and adaptation bearable. Also, my knowledge and understanding of transcultural nursing concepts helped in meeting the needs of the ever-changing patient population.
My friend who started practicing nursing within the past year had a different experience than mine. She encountered differences in age difference with nursing staff as well as differences in cultural, social-economic, and linguistic context. This made it hard for her to form anything but the most superficial connections. She was often subjected to excessive workload in the hospital wards and had challenges prioritizing and managing routine work in her first months of practice. She also reported that she experienced a lack of acceptance from experienced nurses who kept referring to her as the new graduate. She reported stressful work conditions characterized by less support from resource management and nurse staff. This could be attributed to the challenges that are reported by a fresh graduate concerning developing relationships with colleagues, which makes them feel excluded from the nurse team (Hofler & Thomas, 2016).
However, supportive teams hinder this from happening since they help fresh graduates to easily adapt to their new roles and responsibilities. She also reported feeling frustrated because of a lack of support from colleagues especially when she was unable to meet her own and others’ expectations.
Generally, culture is essential in nursing as it enhances nurse retention, job satisfaction, and patient outcome. A non-supporting work environment can cause increased stress in fresh graduates practicing nursing (Della Ratta, 2016). It can also cause increased sick days and nurse turn over. As novice nurses assume new roles and responsibilities and encounter new cultures, their transition can be stressful. Therefore, novice nurses need supportive relationships and interactions to help them adjust and adapt effectively to the new environment. Closer collaborations between the regulatory, healthcare industry and educational stakeholders should also be enhanced to evaluate and address the factors that influence the transition experience of novice nurses.
Della Ratta, C. (2016). Challenging graduate nurses’ transition: Care of the deteriorating patient. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 25(19-20), 3036-3048.
Hofler, L., & Thomas, K. (2016). Transition of new graduate nurses to the workforce: Challenges and solutions in the changing health care environment. North Carolina Medical
Journal, 77(2), 133-136.
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