The New Graduate Nurse Support Group

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Benjamin Hartung, Manager

Project Title: Support Group for Geriatric New Graduate Nurses

What is the issue?

Nurses who have recently graduated from school often experience stress when they start their first jobs. Those who provide care for older adults in long-term care homes face unique challenges that require more specialized training. Existing programs that support these nurses are effective but tend to be costly.

What did we do?

We developed the New Graduate Nurse Support Group. Our objective was to provide professional development to six nurses who were starting their careers in elder care. An advanced practice nurse led the group, which included four sessions held between January and May 2019. We evaluated the effectiveness of the program and whether the new nurses felt supported and connected. We also compared the costs of this program with another initiative that was rolled out across Ontario.

What did we find?

Participants felt more confident as a result of the program. They accessed professional development resources, learned how to create goals, and practiced clinical skills. They turned to each other for help and held each other accountable for meeting goals. The new nurses also reported feeling connected to one another, other point-of-care colleagues, and their career goals.