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The Similarities and Differences in Transition to Practice Experiences for New-Graduate RNs and Practical Nurses in Long-term Care

Whitmore, Carly MScN, RN; Baxter, Pamela E. PhD, RN; Kaasalainen, Sharon PhD, RN; Ploeg, Jenny PhD, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: December 2019 - Volume 49 - Issue 12 - p 586–590
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000820

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to describe the transition-to-practice experience of new-graduate nurses (NGNs) in long-term-care (LTC) settings.

BACKGROUND Transitioning to professional practice is a challenging time for an NGN. This experience is scarcely described for RNs outside of acute care settings and not described for the LPN.

METHODS A qualitative case study was used to explore the described transition-to-practice experience of new-graduate RNs and LPNs in LTC.

RESULTS This study revealed that the transition-to-practice experience of new-graduate LPNs was similar to the experience described by RNs. Differences in experience were related to leadership roles in the setting.

CONCLUSIONS Findings contribute to new understanding of the experience of the NGN in LTC settings. This study reinforces the need for greater support for nursing graduates in this setting.

Author Affiliations: PhD Student (Ms Whitmore), Associate Professor (Dr Baxter), and Professors (Drs Kaasalainen and Ploeg), School of Nursing, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Ms Whitmore, School of Nursing, HSC 2J20, 1280 Main St W, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4K1 (

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