New graduate registered nurse transition into primary health care roles: an integrative literature review

Pauline Murray-Parahi, Michelle DiGiacomo, Debra Jackson, Patricia M. Davidson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Aims and objectives: To summarise the literature describing new graduate nurse transition to professional practice within the primary health care (PHC) setting. Background: There is a plethora of research literature spanning several decades about new graduate nurse transition in the acute care setting. Yet, the experiences of new graduate nurse in the PHC setting is unremarkable particularly considering the increasing demand for skilled health care workers and focus of health reform to provide care where people work and live. Design: Electronic data bases, Academic Search Complete, EBSCO, Medline, PsycINFO, CINHAL, and ERIC were searched using a combination of terms and synonyms arising from three key concepts which identify the phenomenon; ‘transition’, ‘new graduate registered nurse’ and ‘primary health care. An inclusive search strategy placed no limits on language or publication date. Results: Of the 50 articles located and examined for relevance; 40 were sourced through databases and 10 from Google Scholar/Alerts and hand-searching references. None of the 19 articles retained for analysis addressed all key concepts. Conclusions: Some challenges of researching the professional transition of graduate nurses in PHC settings included, an absence of definitive transition models, a dearth of literature and deference to acute care research. Relevance to clinical practice: Nursing in PHC settings, particularly the client's home is notably different to hospital settings because of higher levels of isolation and autonomy. Societal changes, health reform and subsequent demand for skilled workers in PHC settings has caused health care providers to question the logic that such roles are only for experienced nurses. Implications arise for education and health service providers who desire to close the theory practice gap and mitigate risk for all stakeholders when next generation nurses have limited opportunities to experience PHC roles as undergraduates and newly graduated registered nurses are already transitioning in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3084-3101
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of clinical nursing
Issue number21-22
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • integrative review
  • new graduate
  • primary health care
  • registered nurse
  • transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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