Rural and Remote Health Journal photo
African section Asian section European section International section Latin American section North American section
current articles
information for authors
status/user profile
about us

Original Research

The experience of new graduate nurses in rural practice in New South Wales

Submitted: 29 June 2007
Published: 24 October 2007

Full text: You can view the full article, or view a printable version.
Comments: (login to access the comments on this article)

Author(s) : Lea J, Cruickshank MT.

Citation: Lea J, Cruickshank MT.  The experience of new graduate nurses in rural practice in New South Wales. Rural and Remote Health (Internet) 2007; 7: 814. Available: (Accessed 20 October 2017)


Introduction: The recruitment and retention of health professionals in rural areas is a long-standing concern in Australia. In the context of an ageing rural nursing workforce, recruitment and retention of new graduate nurses is an important issue. Objective: To explore the role transition for new graduate nurses in rural practice in New South Wales (NSW).
Methods: This study utilised a qualitative hermeneutic-phenomenological framework. Participants & Setting: A purposive sample was drawn from eight rural health care facilities in NSW where participants were employed as new graduate nurses in the first year of a graduate nurse transition program.
Results: The ward culture, workload and level of responsibility within rural healthcare facilities were of concern for new graduates and influenced their retention within the rural nursing workforce. Main outcome: There are specific aspects of the transition experience that are unique to graduate nurses in rural practice settings.
Conclusion: The findings have implications for undergraduate curricula in the preparation of graduates for the reality of the rural nursing workforce. Additionally, the expectations that staff have of new graduates as they enter the nursing workforce, and the workplace cultural issues recognised as having a significant impact on the retention of graduates must be addressed locally and at the area health service level if nurses are to be retained in this unique nursing specialty.

Key words: Australia, graduate nurse transition programs, new graduate nurses, recruitment and retention, rural nursing.

This abstract has been viewed 6204 times since 24-Oct-2007.