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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Understanding new graduate registered nurse's preparedness and readiness for leadership Pedersen, Chloe


Background: The number of new graduate registered nurses (NGRN) is on the rise while the acuity and complexities of health care continues to climb. NGRNs are required to engage in informal and formal leadership in the clinical setting in a variety of ways, yet find this challenging. Research Design: The purpose of this, qualitative descriptive, study was to understand NGRNs experiences of clinical leadership within the first 14 months of their practice. Semi-structured interviews were held with nine NGRNs at one tertiary hospital in a western Canadian province. Findings: Four main categories were constructed. The first category, self-doubt in relation to leadership, describes participants’ feelings of uncertainty about the nature, expectations, and supports related to the role. The second category, preparing for leadership, details participants’ perceptions of their preparation for leadership prior to, and during, their undergraduate nursing education, and on the job. The third category, evolving leadership, describes the development of participants’ leadership abilities over their first 14 months of practice. The final category, navigating the challenges, articulates strategies the participants used to overcome challenges they faced while acting and developing as leaders. Discussion: Findings show that the majority of participants in this study did not feel ready for the complexities of being the RN leader. Participants were particularly challenged due to their self-doubt and lack of confidence at the beginning of their practice. Their self-doubt was reflected by a lack of preparation for leadership. Participants’ confidence grew and developed over time allowing them to feel comfortable and included in their workplace. Support from formal and informal leaders was vital to their developing confidence in leadership.

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