Original Research

Experiences of Newly Qualified Registered Nurses (R.683) regarding negative workplace environment in selected hospitals of Limpopo Province, South Africa

Tinyiko S. Baloyi, Dorah U. Ramathuba, Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 22 | a2142 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2142 | © 2024 Tinyiko S. Baloyi, Dorah U. Ramathuba, Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2022 | Published: 29 February 2024

About the author(s)

Tinyiko S. Baloyi, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Dorah U. Ramathuba, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa
Khathutshelo G. Netshisaulu, Department of Advanced Nursing Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Globally, healthcare workplace environment is regarded as complex and interactive in nature, hence a supportive collegial environment is crucial in professional socialisation of newly qualified registered nurses, particularly (regulation regarding bridging course [R.683]) cohort who were labelled to can ‘hit the floor running’ due to their previous enrolled nursing experience. Employees friendly workplace environments are associated with job satisfaction, less stress and intent to abandon the nursing profession. Hence newly qualified registered nurses need support in their initial period of employment.

Research purpose: The study explored and described the experiences of workplace environment by newly qualified registered nurses (NQRNs) (R.683) in their first 18 months of employment in selected hospitals of Limpopo province, South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Previous studies documented much about challenges experienced by newly qualified registered nurses in their first year, yet less has been revealed from the views of newly qualified registered nurses (R.683) who upgraded from enrolled nursing about their workplace environment experiences in their first 18 months of employment.

Research approach/design and method: The researcher used a qualitative approach following explorative, descriptive and contextual design. Seven focus group interviews were conducted with a sample of 51 newly qualified registered nurses (R.683), who were purposively sampled in their first 18 months of employment in different units of selected hospitals from Mopani and Vhembe districts of Limpopo province South Africa. Thematic analysis revealed one theme and five sub-themes that negatively influence their perception on workplace environment: negative attitudes and behaviours, bullying, lack of orientation, shortage of staff and workload, and insubordination.

Main findings: Contrary to what has often been assumed, that newly qualified registered nurses (R.683) are work ready because they possess previous nursing experience. Our findings indicate that regardless of previous nursing experience, NQRNs’ (R.683) re-entry into the workplace environment is overwhelming and stressful like any other newly qualified nurse, hence they perceived their workplace environment as negative.

Practical/managerial implications: Nurse managers should ensure a safe and supportive workplace environment. The negative attitudes and behaviours, bullying and insubordination among nursing staff should be acknowledged and addressed as they may hamper the easy adjustment of newly qualified registered nurses (R.683). Although less stress is a form of motivating newly qualified registered nurses (R.683) to acquire more knowledge and skills to independently manage challenging situations in the unit, newly qualified registered nurses (R.683) deserve to be supported to gain confidence in their performance.

Contribution/value-add: Newly qualified registered nurses felt overwhelmed and stressed during their adaptation stage, especially when they were left to run units by themselves with little managerial skills. As newly qualified registered nurses (R.683) should learn unit management through accepting responsibility and accountability, managing unit prematurely to gain self-confidence to practise as an autonomous competent nurse practitioner.


Keywords

experiences; newly qualified registered nurses; public hospitals; workplace environment; bullying; insubordination; orientation; attitude; behaviour; nurse manager

JEL Codes

I12: Health Behavior; I24: Education and Inequality; J24: Human Capital • Skills • Occupational Choice • Labor Productivity

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Metrics

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