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The focus of this paper is the critical analysis of two chosen research papers adopting the contrasting methodology, which relate to the research question “Does stress and burnout impact on a nurses’ transition from student nurse to registered nurse?”. The author of the first paper, “Starting out: A time-lagged study of new graduate nurses’ transition into practice” written by Laschinger et al, (2016) was carried out using quantitative methodology. Meanwhile, the second paper written by Kumaran and Carney (2014) adopted a qualitative approach in their research titled “Role transition from student nurse: Facilitating the transition period”.
Both papers are fitting with the fore-mentioned research question as Kumaran and Carney (2014) studies the experience of moving from student to newly qualified nurse. Whilst Larchinger et al (2016) examines factors, including work stressors such as burnout which influence the success of this transition and the impact on job-related outcomes.
Evidence will be assessed in determining whether stress and burnout impact the transition from student to registered nurse. This question is crucial in contemporary nursing as research suggests experiencing stress and burnout in the transition period hinders the newly qualified nurse in reaching full potential (Edwards et al, 2015).
The change in role from student to staff nurse can be stressful with increased expectations as well as being independently accountable for decisions made in their care management and delivery (Burton and Ormrod, 2011). Banks et al (2011) agree that the transition from student to autonomous practitioner can be demanding. This is acknowledged further by the Department of Health (2010) in appreciating the challenges faced by newly qualified nursing staff and suggest that guidance alongside support will aid a successful transition process, whilst enhancing nurses’ confidence, job satisfaction and ability to deliver better patient care.
Nursing staff account for 42.9 percent of the total NHS Scotland work force and are therefore an integral part of delivering patient care. However, turnover of nursing and midwifery staff has increased by 1.5 percent since 2012 (Information Services Division Scotland, 2016). This coincides with Heinen et al. (2013) uncovering a correlation between nurses experiencing burnout and the intent to end their career in nursing. Flinkman et al, (2013) support this further illustrating the desire of nurses to leave the profession due to work relate stress, and insufficient staffing causing burnout. The move from student to qualified nurse can be overwhelming with increased pressure being a factor in those considering leaving their first post within twelve months (Edwards et al, 2015). Contrastingly Whitehead and Holmes (2011) found that although some deemed the increased stress and burden too much, others felt able to cope with the enhanced responsibility as this facilitated the development of skills, confidence in practice and overall satisfaction. Evidence also implies that job satisfaction among newly qualified nurses and the implementation of graduate nurse programmes increase staff retention rates and in fact reduce turnover (Missen et al, 2014). A study by Boamah et al (2016) concur job satisfaction inspires a positive impact on the quality of patient care, however burnout experienced by newly graduate nurses reduces job satisfaction thus negatively affecting quality patient care.
The Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC, 2015) require nurses to adopt evidence-based practice when employing appropriate care interventions for best patient outcomes (Grove et al, 2014). Evidence-based practice is sought from credible research which aids effective decision making, clinical effectiveness and professional expertise integrated into care provision (Brown, 2014; Parahoo, 2014).
Research is the process of empirical review conducted in a systematic and logical way adding to a body of knowledge (Siu and Comerasamy, 2013). Gerrish and Lacey (2010) further explain nursing research as the method of developing knowledge by means of systematic scientific enquiry to develop nursing practice. Review of knowledge and practice requires research to be conducted to uncover any gaps or questions which can then be implemented into practice and subsequent further review (Glasper and Rees, 2016; Ellis, 2013).
To carry out research effectively nurses must develop competence in critical appraisal. This is a systematic process scrutinizing research to evaluate significance and reliability (LoBiondo-Wood and Haber, 2014). This enables evidence to be assessed to ascertain appropriateness to clinical practice (Moule and Hek, 2011).
The writer will perform a critical appraisal of the selected research papers using an appropriate research tool for each. Critical appraisal tools are beneficial for guiding research evaluation and offer a direction on identifying the rigour of the research being appraised by examining key components (Taylor and Hignett, 2014). This will be undertaken with emphasis on strengths and limitations when evaluating the main research methods and design. A recap of significant components of the appraisals will form this assignment’s conclusion which will also evaluate results highlighting implications for professional practice.
Quantitative research is rooted from positivism and is a systematic approach in acquiring data using scientific, traditional and deductive method (Polit and Beck, 2014). Moule and Hek (2011) describe quantitative methodology as the procedure of data collection involving a highly controlled structured design. The principle objective of quantitative research is to measure hypothesis or variables by means of a statistical and numerical process (Parahoo, 2014).
The quantitative article by Larshinger et al (2016) will be critiqued using the Holland and Rees (2010) tool which is a framework providing questions relating to important aspects of the research article.