A study examining senior nursing students' expectations of work and the workforce

Deborah A Saber, Debbie Anglade, Lori M. Schirle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Aim: This study explored traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science nursing students' expectations of nursing work and the workforce. Background: Role transition difficulty is blamed for much of the 15-60% newly licensed registered nurse turnover in their first 3 years of employment. Method: This qualitative study consisted of 14 focus groups (n = 98) to determine Bachelor of Science nursing students' expectations of work as newly licensed registered nurses. Results: Two overriding themes for accelerated and traditional students emerged: stressors and coping strategies. Students believe four stressors will affect their progression into the newly licensed registered nurse role and have developed coping strategies. Conclusion: This study suggests that students have experienced stressors in the clinical environment and anticipate them in the newly licensed registered nurse role. During transition, strategies such as 'fitting in' and 'staying safe' will be employed to ensure work success. Implications for nursing management: Younger generations value a healthy work-life balance and a positive working environment. These nurses will not tolerate positions that do not align with their values. With the aging of citizens in the USA and the predicted nursing shortage, nursing management needs to employ strategies to retain newly licensed registered nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E183-E191
JournalJournal of Nursing Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016



  • Expectations
  • Qualitative research
  • Student nurses
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management

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