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Adjustment, advanced practice, novice, nurse practitioner, transition, work experience



  1. Cheng, Ju-Fen MSN, RN (Head Nurse)


Background: Transitioning to advanced practice, novice nurse practitioners need to take on new roles, learn new practice areas, and develop new skills. This process requires breaking old practices and work habits and facing new challenges.


Purpose: To explore the nature of nurse practitioners' work experiences during the first year of transition from registered nurse to nurse practitioner.


Methods: This qualitative study was based on Husserl's phenomenological methodology. A purposive sample of 16 first-year nurse practitioners was recruited. Data were collected through in-depth interviews and analyzed by thematic content analysis. The approaches of Lincoln & Guba were applied to improve the validity of the study.


Results: Results showed that the first-year experience of transitioning from registered nurse to nurse practitioner fell into two overarching themes: challenge and adjustment. The challenge consists of five subthemes: "facing the expectation-reality gap," "managing others' expectations," "striving to acquire professional skills," "handling situational variability," and "bearing emotional burdens" subthemes. The adjustment includes five subthemes: "finding resources," "gaining experiences," "building relationships," "relieving stress," and "overcoming obstacles."


Implications for practice: Novice nurse practitioners face many challenges as they adjust to a new role during their first year on the job. New nurse practitioners develop coping strategies to help themselves adjust to their work. They also gradually gain new resources and experiences to help them stay positive in stressful situations and restore work-life balance. The challenges of transitioning from a registered nurse to a nurse practitioner cannot be overlooked. Novice nurse practitioners need appropriate support measures to adapt to advanced practice roles.