We are very pleased to announce that the final report from the STaR (Supporting transition and retention of newly qualified nurses) project is published. You may obtain a copy of the final report to download at this link and the executive summary is available here. As Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, the Chancellor of the University of Hull, says in her foreword to the report: ‘The project focuses on a critical period in nursing and in nurse education – the transition as nurses move from final year students to becoming registered and qualified health practitioners.’
The project involved nearly 300 final year nursing students from three consecutive cohorts at the University of Hull. The aim was to find out what they considered to be the positive aspects of their final year as students and their first year as a Registered Nurse that helped them in this transition. We also report on the perspectives of employers in the NHS and private sector and educationalists about this important transition period.
During the project we developed and piloted an online toolkit designed specifically to help nurses make the transition from nursing student to Registered Nurse and you can view the toolkit at this link. We have received very positive feedback on the toolkit, and we were very pleased that most students participating in the project made use of the resources available in the toolkit in their final year.
Among our main recommendations from the project is that education providers and future employers should work more closely together both in the period leading up to registration and in the immediate post-qualification period on seamless and bespoke transition plans for individual nurses. One thing that final year nursing students considered very useful was visits to and opportunities to work in the clinical area where they intended to work. Of course, our project is only one of many contributions to the problems around the transition to practice of nursing students. We look forward to continuing to investigate this and evaluate the impact of the STaR project in the years ahead.
The project team would like to thank the Burdett Trust for Nursing for funding this project. We also wish to thank out colleagues at the University of Hull who assisted with the project and all colleagues in the NHS and beyond who cooperated and tool part in interviews. Finally, our project advisory group members and student ambassadors deserve special thanks.
Professor Roger Watson, Dr Jane Wray, Dr David Barrett, Dr Helen Gibson and Jo Aspland