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Nurse’s PhD study to improve experiences

Nick Nijkamp Bundaberg Nurse CQU
Bundaberg theatre nurse and CQUniversity lecturer Nick Nijkamp.

An experienced Bundaberg theatre nurse and CQUniversity lecturer is completing a PhD study that seeks to improve the experiences of novice nurses entering perioperative care roles for the first time.

Nick Nijkamp’s study seeks to identify how hospitals and other healthcare settings can better support and educate nursing staff who are new to roles in the perioperative space (either as new graduates or new to the specialisation from other nursing backgrounds), so both them and their patients get better outcomes.

Mr Nijkamp explained, by building an understanding of these experiences, he aimed to deliver recommendations to support the education and career development of new perioperative nurses and to also play a role in improving patient outcomes while reducing growing attrition rates in perioperative care settings.

“Perioperative nursing is a highly specialised area within the nursing profession that relies on high levels of theoretical knowledge, clinical skill and critical thinking to maintain patient safety before, during and after surgical procedures,” Mr Nijkamp said.

“Perioperative care is generally not covered in depth in undergraduate nursing programs and for some graduates they are not exposed to this type of care setting unless they undertake a clinical placement in a perioperative setting.

“This has essentially led to a depletion of skills overtime, and we are also witnessing many experienced practitioners enter retirement, or even leave the speciality due to stress and burnout due to the demanding nature of the specialisation.

“As we lose experienced practitioners within the specialisation, the gap becomes harder to fill,” he said.

“This in turn is likely leading to knowledge gaps among novice nurses to the specialisation, which then leads to difficulties in adapting to processes and transitioning into to the workplace.”

Bundaberg nurse to help novice nurses

“As part of my research I want to qualify these experiences, among recent nursing graduates and those who have been practicing within the perioperative field, so that I can help to identify ways in which universities and workplaces could facilitate a smoother entry and transition period into perioperative care settings for novice nurses.

“By enhancing undergraduate nursing curricula, offering comprehensive perioperative nursing education, and implementing well-deigned, structured transition programs, I believe we can cultivate the next generation of confident and competent perioperative nurses.

“Ultimately, this is important because investing in the education and support of novice perioperative nurses not only benefits the nurses themselves but also has far reaching implications for health care organisations and their ability to recruit and retain highly skilled staff with the confidence to deliver quality care and uphold patient safety.”

Mr Nijkamp is currently conducting research as part of this Doctoral studies and is inviting nursing professionals, especially graduate nurses who have recently entered perioperative practice to take part in a research survey.

To complete the survey, please follow the link to Evaluation of the Transition to Practice Programs (TPP) for New Graduate and Novice Perioperative Nurses – Stage 2.

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