Meeting the Needs of the New Graduate Nurse: Self-Care Education
New grad training programs have been recognized over the years as a necessity to help new nurses transition successfully from the role of student to professional nurse. These new grad training programs provide a structured curriculum to acclimate nurses into the organization and the nursing profession. These programs provide a foundation for the nurses’ career. This foundation would be strengthened with the addition of self-care education.
In order to prepare new nurses to use advancing technologies, to provide safe care, and reduce employee turnover, structured new grad training programs were developed at number of ANCC Magnet designated and/or University-affiliated hospitals. In 2011, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (Chicago, Illinois) conducted a multi-site study of nurses transitioning to practice at hospitals and the results supported the previous research and recommendations. Based on their study, they recommended that new graduate programs have the following essential components:
- • 9-12 months in length
- • Trained preceptors
- • Institution based orientation
- • Opportunity for feedback and reflection
- • Institutional support
- • Safety and critical reasoning focus in the program
- • QSEN core competencies of patient-centered care, teamwork and communication, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics
What was not included in their recommendations, were core competencies in self-care strategies. These include prevention of burnout, compassion fatigue, or secondary trauma, all of which are experienced by nurses engaged in increasingly complex care. Self-care is an essential skill that new grads need and something that the large percentage of new grads, millennials, are looking for.