Developing resilience: Stories from novice nurse academics

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Nurse Education Today, 2016, 38 pp. 29 - 35
Issue Date:
2016-03-01
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© 2016 . Background: It is acknowledged that novice nurse academics face many challenges on commencement of their new role. Most are recruited from the clinical arena, with little understanding of the academic triumvirate of teaching, research and service. They struggle with role expectation and experience feelings of isolation and anxiety. Aim: The aim of this paper is to report on an exploration of 14 new nurse academics from two major nursing education institutions as they utilised and developed resilience building strategies. Method: The paper is drawn from a qualitative study that sought to see the world through the eyes of the participants through storytelling. Data was collected using semi-structured, conversational style interviews. Interviews were audio recorded and revealed themes that captured resilience strategies. Results: These themes were: Developing supportive collegial relationships; Embracing positivity; and Reflection and transformative growth. The first theme, developing supportive relationships, provides insight into the mentoring process and the relationships developed with peers and colleagues. The second theme, embracing positivity, describes the factors that assisted them to face the adversity and challenges in the new role. The final theme, reflection and transformative growth, demonstrated participants' reflecting on difficult situations and demonstrating the ability to learn from the experiences and move forward. Conclusions: The strategies utilised by the participants in this study were key factors in the development of resilience which assisted in the transition from clinical nurse to academic. These strategies were often tacit and it is imperative that in a time of acute nurse academic shortages where retention is paramount, that employing organisations support employees and contribute to resilience development. Education on resilience building strategies is fundamental for all new academics and is essential in the transition from clinical nurse to academic.
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