Exploring the experiences of early career academic nurses as they shape their career journey: A qualitative study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nurse Education Today, 2019, 76 pp. 68 - 72
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Objective: This study aimed to explore the experiences of early career academic nurses as they shape their career path in one Australian university. Background: The early years of academic career development can be challenging as individuals learn to adjust to the teaching, research and service mission of universities. Tertiary institutions have an obligation to provide future nursing leaders with relevant and timely support during the formative phase of career development, to be successful in a competitive global environment. Design: A qualitative descriptive approach was used and data were analysed thematically using Braun and Clarke (2006) six phase process. Methods: Eleven early career academic nurses who were interviewed, had completed, or were near completion of a doctorate and were within seven years of full-time academic employment. Results: The four themes that emerged from the analysis were: embarking on the journey; the toil of the journey; fellow travellers on the journey, and strategies for a successful journey. Conclusions: Findings from this study can be used to inform customised mentorship programs for nurse academics during their initial stage of career employment.
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