“Stakeholders’ perceptions of a structured orientation programme for newly-qualified nurses in an intensive care setting: a qualitative descriptive research proposal”.
This extended research proposal has been devised in order to examine perceptions of a structured orientation programme (SOP) designed for newly-qualified nurses (NQNs) in an intensive care unit (ICU). The aim of the research proposed is to determine perceptions from the perspective of NQNs, as well as mentors, members of the education support team and ward managers. A literature review was carried out which revealed that the research clearly suggests that SOPs ease the transition for NQNs; they are highly regarded by NQNs, with particular emphasis placed on the importance of the mentor. There is, however, a significant paucity of research within the context of the ICU. It has been suggested that this clinical setting presents a number of additional challenges for NQNs. From analysis of the limited body of research which exists, several themes can be identified; satisfaction associated with SOPs in the ICU may be lower than in other areas, NQNs are underprepared for this speciality, lacking the necessary knowledge and skills required and there is a need for considerable educational support. The research emphasizes the importance of providing a tailored SOP for the NQN in ICU. Furthermore, this should be regularly re-evaluated by relevant stakeholder groups. More research is urgently required within this area. For this research proposal, a qualitative approach, informed by a qualitative descriptive design is stipulated. Rationalisation for this is provided through the requirement of an in-depth understanding of participants’ experiences. A purposive sampling approach is proposed, data-collection through the use of semi-structured interviews is chosen and intended dataanalysis through thematic-analysis is specified. Justification for these methods is provided. Furthermore, ethical considerations are explored in relation to the proposed research. The implications for practice, in view of the potential findings, are discussed and suggestions for future research are identified.