Core elements of transition support programs: The experiences of newly qualified Australian midwives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare, 2012, 3 (4), pp. 155 - 162
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Aim: This article reports on newly qualified midwives' experiences of the core elements of their transition support program; clinical rotations, supernumerary time, study days and midwife-to-midwife support. Background: There is limited knowledge and understanding of how midwives transition from student to registered midwife and how best to support them during this time. Method: A qualitative descriptive approach. Thirty-eight newly qualified midwives from 14 hospitals in the state of New South Wales, Australia participated. Telephone interviews and focus groups were used to collect the data. Content analysis was used to analyse the data set. Findings: Despite being employed by different hospitals, most participants were offered transition support programs that shared common core elements: rotations to a variety of clinical areas, additional study days, supernumerary time and support from colleagues. Participants stressed the importance of planned clinical rotations and supernumerary time that allowed them to ease into the new clinical area. Study days provided an opportunity for graduates to focus on new skills and to connect with their peers. Support from colleagues, managers and educators was essential, though workloads often impacted on its availability. Conclusion: The evidence from the project contributes to our understanding of newly graduated midwives' support needs. As such the findings can be used to inform the development, implementation and evaluation of future transition support programs that better meet the needs of graduates, the women they care for and the facilities in which they work. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.
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