Monday, 30 June 2014

Recruiting newly qualified nurses

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

There has been little research into the recruitment of newly qualified nurses. The issue has been brought into focus recently in the UK due to some of the well-publicised scandals in healthcare such as that reported by Lord Francis. One of his recommendations, also mentioned by Lord Willis in his report, was that recruitment processes should be revised and improved. These referred both to the recruitment of nurses into the profession as nursing students and into the workforce. A recent paper by Newton et al. (2014) titled ‘Exploring selection and recruitment processesfor newly qualified nurses: a sequential-explanatory mixed-method study’ and published in JAN reports an extensive and detailed piece of work, comprised of four stages, which investigates the issue of recruitment of newly qualified nurses into the workforce across several recruiting organisations in London.

Newton et al. (2014) draw some parallels with recruitment of newly qualified teachers and there are some similarities. The main thrust of research into recruitment policy and practice of newly qualified nurses appears to be concerned with issues of supply and demand – i.e. matching up what the service needs to what is available – rather than the practices associated with the specifically selecting individuals. Therefore, research into selection instruments is scarce. A survey of organisations recruiting nurses showed some variation in practices and there was little evidence for the reliability and validity of any instruments used in selection processes. Of course, the ultimate question is whether or not any of this will make a difference in healthcare and, in their own words, Newton et al. conclude:
‘Prospective, longitudinal and cohort data on selection and recruitment are required to link the selection and recruitment of newly qualified nurses to career development and any subsequent impacts on the healthcare system.’


Newton P, Chandler V, Morris-Thomson T, Sayer J, Burke L (2014) Exploringselection and recruitment processes for newly qualified nurses: asequential-explanatory mixed-method study Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12467

Do nurses want to work in the UK NHS?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

A recent study by Robson and Robson (2014) from Newcastle Northumbria University titled ‘Do nurses wish to continue working for the UK National Health Service? A comparative study of three generations of nurses’ has been published in JAN. The study replicates a previous Australian study, also published in JAN (Shacklock & Brunetto 2012). In their own words: ‘This study provides understanding about the issues that affect nurse retention in a sector where employee attrition is a key challenge, further exacerbated by an ageing workforce.’

The original Australian study by Shacklock and Brunetto (2012) and the present study looked at factors related to wishing to continue in work across three generations: in order, the so-called ‘Baby boomers’ and Generations X and Y; the last being the youngest. The variables included were: work–family conflict; work attachment; and importance of work to the individual. In the Australian study there were difference across the generations; however, in the UK there were no discernible differences which challenged accepted strategies. The authors say: ‘This suggests that differentiated approaches to retention should perhaps not be pursued in this sectoral context.’ In terms of the three variables, regression analysis showed that they worked together across the generations in the UK to influence continuation intention.

Robson A, Robson F (2014) Do nurses wish to continue working for the UK National Health Service?A comparative study of three generations of nurses Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10·1111/jan.12468

Shacklock KH, Brunetto Y (2012) Theintention to continue nursing: work variables affecting three nurse generationsin Australia Journal of Advanced Nursing 68, 36–46

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Shocking reports of abuse by nursing students

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Unfortunately, these days, few are shocked at stories of abuse of patients and unprofessional behaviour by nurses. These incidents clearly have a profound effect on the abused and on those around them and an article from a Scottish study by Rees et al. (2014) titled  ‘My mentor kicked a dying woman’s bed. . .’ Analysing UK nursing students’ ‘most memorable’ professionalism dilemmas, and published in JAN, investigates this.

The point of the paper was not to catalogue abuse but rather to find out what nursing students see that provided dilemmas for them, the effect this had on them and to suggest how this could be handled better. However, some of what is catalogued in the paper is truly shocking, ranging from physical abuse (slapping a patient's penis), outbursts of frustration (kicking a patient's bed) and verbal abuse (mocking patients with dementia). Inevitably, the article will be read as much for these as the main substance of the paper.
Clearly, these incidents have a profound effect on nursing students and the authors suggest that they should be given 'safe space' to share these professional dilemmas, to discuss them and to help then know how to deal with them in future.


Rees CE, Monrouxe LV, McDonald LA (2014) ‘My mentor kicked a dying woman’s bed. . .’ Analysing UK nursing students’ ‘most memorable’ professionalism dilemmas Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:10.1111/jan.12457