AIM: To establish an understanding of the experiences of newly qualified nurses' working in hospices from the perspective of both newly qualified and senior nurses.
DESIGN: A qualitative interview study.
METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with six newly qualified nurses and five senior nurses from four United Kingdom hospices were conducted between March - July 2017.
RESULTS: The hospices involved in this study were among the first to recruit newly qualified nurses. Participants believed newly qualified nurses coped well with hospice working and received unique opportunities for professional development. Participants identified the value of formal and informal support however newly qualified nurses faced negative attitudes from some established staff. Newly qualified nurses expressed concerns about a perceived lack of technical clinical skills training however they highlighted gaining end-of-life care and communication skills that would be transferrable to other settings. Participants highlighted the need to allocate more time for education and formal support including preceptorship. Senior staff did not necessarily expect newly qualified nurses to remain in long-term hospice employment suggesting they could disseminate their hospice learning to future workplaces.
CONCLUSION: This study supports recruitment strategies that increasingly target newly qualified nurses to work in hospices with findings suggesting that hospices can be a suitable environment for recent graduates to work in. The senior nurses in this study viewed the employment of newly qualified nurses in a positive light but shared the concerns of newly qualified nurses regarding skills training.
IMPACT: At a time when hospices need to expand if they are going to meet demand for their services, they along with most areas of healthcare face difficulties recruiting and retaining registered nurses. To increase the appeal of hospice employment, recruitment campaigns aimed at newly qualified nurses should emphasise the transferability of skills gained in hospice settings.