Introduction: When enrolled nurses upgrade to newly-qualified professional nurses, they are
considered more prepared to adapt to professional nurse roles and are expected to "hit the floor
running". However, transitioning from enrolled nurse to newly-qualified professional nurse has
been found difficult and stressful due to the shift from enrolled nurses' familiar dependent
practitioner role to the less known professional nurses' independent practitioner role. Currently
there is no official programme to address the transition support needs of newly-qualified
professional nurses who upgrade from enrolled nurses in Mpumalanga private hospitals. In the
Mpumalanga private hospitals, for the period 2012-2013, the estimated average turnover rate for
newly-qualified professional nurses was 33-47%.
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore and describe how newly-qualified professional nurses
who upgraded from enrolled nurses experienced transition support during the transition period in
private hospitals in the Mpumalanga Province.
Research design: A qualitative holistic multiple case study research design was utilised to explore
and describe how newly-qualified professional nurses who upgraded from enrolled nurses
experienced transition support during the transition period in private hospitals in Mpumalanga
Method: Ten newly-qualified professional nurses, who graduated in 2012-2015 with a minimum of
six months' and a maximum of four years' work experience in two private hospitals in Mpumalanga
Province, participated in this study. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted and an
inductive approach was utilised for content analysis of verbatim transcripts and field notes.
Findings: The study found that at the private health care level, there is minimal understanding and
recognition of the transition support needs of the newly-qualified professional nurse making the
transition to clinical healthcare practice in private hospitals as professional nurses. Consequently,
there is no newly-qualified professional nurse transition support programme during the transition
period. Moreover, the newly-qualified professional nurse needs transition support mostly during the
first two stages of the transition period.
Dissertation (MCur)--University of Pretoria, 2017.