Newly qualified nurses’ transition from learning to doing: a scoping review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To identify newly qualified nurses’ experiences during transition to professional practice, and explore their and other key stakeholders’ perceptions of nursing transition programmes.
Scoping review using the Arksey and O’Malley framework.
Several electronic databases were searched for relevant articles, which were supplemented by hand-searching and internet searches for grey literature. 1823 potentially relevant articles published between 1974 and 2019 were retrieved from the initial search, and an additional ten articles were obtained from the supplemental search. Each article was independently reviewed, leaving 60 articles eligible for inclusion in the review.
Two overarching themes emerged: 1) the transition experience; 2) the perceived benefits of nursing transition programmes. Evidence that nursing transition programmes positively impact the transition experience is inconclusive. Some studies suggest a positive impact on newly qualified nurses’ competency, level of confidence and attrition rates; others reported no impact. There was a general consensus that newly qualified nurses still encounter difficulties when transitioning into professional practice. Most articles found were quantitative in nature, focusing on measurable outcomes of nursing transition programmes. Few investigated the experiences and perceptions of newly qualified nurses, preceptors, and managers regarding the transition to professional practice.
Literature mapping suggests that newly qualified nurses frequently struggle to successfully complete the transition into professional practice, and that this transition is complex and multifaceted. There is limited evidence to justify the widespread implementation of nursing transition programmes. Additional research focusing on experiences and perceptions of newly qualified nurses and their transitory process is warranted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Newly qualified nurses’ transition from learning to doing: a scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this