Nurses transitioning to primary health care in Australia: A practice improvement initiative

Rebekah Cox, Tracy Robinson, Rachel Rossiter, Lisa Collison, Danny Hills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Current nursing programs provide little pre-registration information and clinical exposure to primary health care nursing practice. Newly graduated nurses and those transitioning to primary health care report disorientation and confusion. Limited knowledge about the ideal elements of a program to support transitioning nurses is an imperative to understand how best to support nurses during this period. The peak body for nurses in primary health care was funded to develop and implement a 1-year transition to practice improvement initiative for nurses in Australia about to be employed in or who are new to primary health care. This quality improvement evaluation study aimed to determine the impact of the transition program on participants’ nursing knowledge, skills, and confidence, and their overall satisfaction with the program.
Methods: A mixed methods evaluation of the project utilized data from online pre- and post-participation surveys, mentor meetings, and field notes. Descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were employed for quantitative items. Free text and field notes were subject to broad thematic analysis. Findings from qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated.
Results: Ninety-three nurse participants and 62 mentors were recruited. There were statistically significant differences between mean summed post-completion and pre-completion self-assessment rating scores for knowledge, skills, and confidence. Program elements were well received. The orientation workshop, mentoring, and education activities were identified as most influential in supporting transition. The self-assessment framework was identified as least influential.
Conclusion: A 12-month transition program was effective in building the knowledge, skills, and confidence of participants to deliver comprehensive and effective nursing services.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSAGE Open Nursing
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Apr 2023


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