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Transitioning through a Bachelor of Nursing program: The enrolled nurse experience

Wall, P., Fetherston, C. and Browne, C.ORCID: 0000-0003-4793-1454 (2020) Transitioning through a Bachelor of Nursing program: The enrolled nurse experience. Collegian, 27 (4). pp. 396-401.

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A lack of understanding of the challenges that Enrolled Nurses experience as they transition to Registered Nurse may prevent the development of resources and strategies necessary to ensure their success in the program.

What are the experiences of nursing students who are enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing program as they transition from Enrolled Nurse to Registered Nurse?

A qualitative interpretive approach, influenced by phenomenology and underpinned by Schlossberg’s Transition theory, was used in this study. Data was collected from Enrolled Nurses (n = 7) using individual interviews and enriched with additional context from a focus group of nursing academics (n = 4).

Five themes were identified: ‘Standing out from the crowd’, ‘struggling with the academic demands’, ‘seeking personal and professional balance’, ‘moving beyond the constraints of being an EN’ and ‘growing within the program’.

The challenges experienced by the Enrolled Nurses, such as adapting to the requirements of the tertiary program and balancing study with their other life responsibilities, were identified as being exacerbated by the 12 months of advanced standing that they receive. Strategies to overcome these challenges included accessing academic and personal resources. Success within the program was discussed by these students as empowering their personal and professional lives.

The challenges the Enrolled Nurses encountered and strategies they employed to succeed in the program are identified in this study. Recommendations to improve the transition of Enrolled Nurses through a Bachelor of Nursing program are proposed.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2019 Australian College of Nursing Ltd.
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