A message to nurse managers from NZNO acting professional services manager, Hilary Graham-Smith. Hilary has had a long career as a registered nurse working in primary health care and as a Director of Nursing in primary health care.
“A sustainable, fully utilised nursing workforce is NZNO’s number one priority.
We also want a sufficiently funded nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme so that 100 percent of our new graduate RN and ENs are employed and appropriately mentored and supported during their first year of practice.
The current nursing workforce has a vital role to play in that. Sadly, we still have a significant number of new graduates who do not get into NEtP programmes who are looking for work – they need our help.
We know that many of your work environments are stretched by less than adequate staffing and we hear many of you say, “We haven’t got time to preceptor new graduates”. However we all have a role to play as experienced nurses to make sure that our new grads are welcomed into the workforce; our collective experience and expertise will help to grow the nursing workforce of the future.
I encourage those of you who are in decision-making roles and involved in recruitment to stop and think for a moment before deciding NOT to offer a job to a new grad; so many of the responses to Keren MacSween’s story were from new grads who had been turned down because of a lack of experience.
I ask, isn’t that our role? – to make sure they get experience in an environment where they can not only learn from others but share their new knowledge. New grads don’t come without skills they just need time to grow their self-assurance and confidence in clinical practice.
Remember how that felt – being the newbie RN or EN? This is about nurses doing it for nurses and the wellbeing of the whole profession.
So think about it next time a new grad applies for a job in your ward/unit/ department – give them a go. Go on you know you want to!”