In this paper you will learn about socialization of nursing and the important role that it plays in staff retention. The goal of business’s that employee nurses are to not only retain staff but to keep them happy and satisfied as well. I have included several examples of how to do this. I have also included examples of the attitudes and values of a well socialized nurse and how this affects not only the nurse herself but her coworkers as well.
The importance of a well trained, encouraging preceptor and the role this person plays in staff retention is also discussed. Without the preceptor and her positive role it can be very difficult to retain staff. Employers are constantly looking for new ways to keep staff happy, that is discussed in detail in this paper. New nurse’s often feel overwhelmed and it is the duty of senior nurses to help them feel comfortable and “part of the family”.
Socialization into Nursing
Socialization into nursing is a concept that is discussed throughout nursing journals, textbooks, colleges, and amongst nurse’s themselves. It is often discussed in nursing classes and is a concern with each new class of graduates coming out of nursing school in the next phase of their careers. The first year of employment is the most critical for all new graduates. It is exciting and new but can also be intimidating and overwhelming as well. This is a time when new nurses will depend on their senior coworkers more than ever. Socialization to professional nursing is an interactive process that begins in the educational setting and continues throughout one’s nursing career. (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 44) Socialization is defined as the process of making someone ready for a particular societal role. It is described as “a person acquiring values, skills, behaviors, and norms appropriate to nursing practice”. (Creasia & Friberg, 2011, p. 44)
Nurses have to adapt to their changing roles within an organization. Nurses can make choices from a multitude of positions within the nursing profession ranging from jobs at the bedside to research to management. Success is most often achieved when nurses feel competent and are accepted as team members by their colleagues. It is of the utmost importance that the healthcare organization has an organized and effective orientation and preceptor program. It is not only important for the new graduate to be competent, but also to be included amongst the other members of the team. The preceptor should be available to the new nurse to answer questions, guide, and to help the new nurse to integrate herself with the current staff. It is important for the preceptor to be “nurturing” to the new nurse so they can begin to feel comfortable on the unit (Reising, 2009, p. 22). The preceptor is here to help the new nurse become accepted by others, provide confidence, teach and build confidence.
As a clinical coordinator on a busy oncology unit, I have experienced the difficulty associated with a lack of socialization with new graduate nurses. At times the new nurse feels uncomfortable and excluded. With the new staffing grid (showing a higher patient to nurse ratio) senior staff often feel overwhelmed and “too busy” to preceptor properly. The preceptor needs to have the time to cultivate and socialize the new nurse into his/her career. If this does not happen the nurse begins to feel unsupported and unwelcome as part of the team. These employees never become included and look for new employment in a short period of time. Socialization can commence with something as simple as checking blood with another nurse or helping the nurse start an IV. It is important for the new nurse to feel that his/her opinion is being heard and matters. All nurses, senior or new, desire to be a valued member of the team.
The average new nurse on the Oncology unit is overwhelmed with the demands of caring for a patient that is often in pain, nauseated, needs blood and has numerous other needs. It is important for the new nurse to be supported when learning how to delegate to others. It is vital to the new nurse that the patient care team is ready to assist and offer encouragement. Lack of support can discourage open communication and can cause patient care to suffer. If the work environment does not encourage socialization of the nurse it can lead to high nurse turnover, poor patient outcomes, and excessive cost to the organization to hire and train for vacancies. Retaining new Registered Nurses can be particularly cost effective if preceptor properly and can save an organization from $82,000 to $88,000 per RN (Pellico, Kovner, & Brewer, 2009, para. 3).
Socialization is a lifelong process that continues throughout the career of a nurse. As the new nurse progresses they begin to function more independently and reflect upon the changes they feel with their coworkers and preceptor. (Reising, 2009, p. 23) In each different role the socialization of the nurse is a little different. As a bedside nurse, it is important to learn basic tasks and time management, it is vital to focus on patient safety and work as a team member. If the nurse grows and moves up the ranks and assumes a leadership position he/she will try to gain support of peers and subordinates. The nurse leader will work to earn respect and learn to engage employees. Each nurse will be socialized based on his/her present job description. As a nurse for over 5 years now and working at the bedside and as a clinical coordinator I have experienced many different levels of socialization.
From the first day of nursing school I reached different milestones that prepared me for the culture in healthcare organizations. Orientation prepared me for the interpersonal relationships I would develop and as I gained experience those relationships strengthened. As I grew into my new profession and tried new roles, I began to use my strengths to excel and my confidence increased. I knew what questions to ask and how to answer questions that were asked of me. I began to feel comfortable in my surrounding and knew who I could count on to help me clinically and to lend support. I pride myself in now offering my knowledge to new nurses, to assisting them in feeling welcome and comfortable.
I know that I cannot do what I do every day alone. I need coworkers that are willing to work together and know that it is the responsibility of every nurse to embrace the new nurse and give her the support she needs to love her profession. I also remember what I feared as a new nurse and I hope that I can help alleviate those fears as I take an inexperienced caregiver under my wing. Nobody knows what the future holds for your career as an RN. The new nurse that you may have mentored and taught may be teaching you a thing or two in the future. That is the great thing about nursing. Nurses grow and the profession changes. Always be kind to those that need you because chances are you will need them too!
Creasia, J. L., & Friberg, E. E. (2011). Conceptual Foundations (5th
ed.). St. Louis, MI: Elsevier Mosby. Pellico, L. H., Kovner, C. T., & Brewer, C. S. (2009, November 2). Moving On, Up, or Out: Changing Work Needs of New RNs at Different Stages of Their Beginning Nursing Practice. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Retrieved from www.nursingworld.org/mainmenucategories/anamarketplace/anaperidocials/OJIN Reising, D. L. (2009). Early Socialization of New Critical Care Nurses. American Journal of Critical Care, 11, 19-26. Retrieved from ajcc.aacnjournals.org
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Nursing Socialization. (2016, Dec 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/nursing-socialization-essay