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Groundbreaking study seeks to uncover truth about new grad nurses

As new generations of nurses enter the workforce, questions abound. What influences a new graduate’s job choice? How long do they expect to stay? Why do some of them want to leave? Professors Christine T. Kovner, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Carol S. Brewer, PhD, RN, are spearheading an in-depth study to find answers to some of these critical questions. And thanks to a recent $4.1 million grant, in addition to $1.9 million in earlier funding, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the research is now funded into 2015.

“There is a lot of information floating around about new graduates,” says Kovner, who has been at New York University since 1985. “But, in my opinion, there is no solid, systematic research.”

Already, that is changing.

The study, which tracks more than 3,000 nurses from 35 states, touches on a variety of topics including workplace experience, relationships with managers, and violence against nurses. Some early highlights from the first few years of the study include:

  • About 66% of newly licensed registered nurses (NLRNs) worked a 12-hour shift
  • Poor management was cited as the top professional reason for leaving a first job
  • About 62% of NLRNs reported at least one incidence of verbal abuse
  • 27.2% of NLRNs who had worked at least 13 months in nursing had already left their first job
  • Nearly 60% of NLRNs reported they were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs
  • 41% of NLRNs planned to stay in their first jobs for less than three years
  • The median income for NLRNs was $45,000
  • The most important work characteristics to new RNs are “the ability to do the job well” and “being rewarded fairly for the work”

What are your impressions of these early study findings?

For more information on the study, visit http://www.rnworkproject.org or for more of this article, click here.

Driving under the influence of drowsiness

It’s no secret that nursing can do a number on your health. Sore backs from lifting patients and poor eating habits because of strange schedules and lack of time, to name a couple examples, can have a detrimental effect on your health. Add driving under the influence of drowsiness to the list.

According to a new study published in the December 1 issue of SLEEP, staff nurses who work extended hours, work at night, struggle to remain awake at work, or obtain less sleep are more likely to experience a drowsy driving episode. The data was compiled during a four-week span and focused on 895 nurses, who reported, on average, one drowsy driving episode out of every four shifts worked. Additionally, 281 accidents or near car accidents were reported during the study.

Sleep restriction and sleep fragmentation are listed as the two main causes of drowsy driving. To combat the problem, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends getting enough sleep, taking breaks while driving, consuming caffeine, avoiding alcohol, and avoid late-night driving.

Here is a link to the full press release with further information: Sleep Study