Jo Greenlees-Rae

605 – Being confident in practice: The influences on confidence in new graduate nurses

This presentation describes the influences on confidence experienced by new graduate nurses. Being confident is an important attribute of a nurse as it contributes to achieving the practice outcomes they, the patient and their family, require. New graduate nurses commence nursing practice with some degree of confidence or lack of confidence, which changes and evolves as they transition from a nursing student to a professional nursing role.

This study investigated the influences on confidence in the new graduate nurse, and how they experienced individual moments of confidence utilising dialogue, appreciation and affirmation.

This study used the principles of Appreciative Inquiry as a methodology. Appreciative Inquiry is a flexible and positive approach to research, placing an emphasis on dialogue, collaboration and affirmation.

Feeling positive and success in practice were key to the new graduate nurse feeling confidence in practice. This is also identified within Appreciative Inquiry philosophy, where feeling success encourages self-regard. Five themes were identified within the study:

  1. Understanding confidence and the subthemes of self-awareness, knowing confidence, defining confidence, reflection, self-doubt, over-confidence and feigning confidence.
  2. Developing a professional identity with the subtheme of resilience.
  3. Relationships, including collegial relationships, culture of the environment, the patients’ influence, feedback, and trust.
  4. Developing learning and experience with the subthemes of learning and knowledge, experience, and critical thinking and decision making.
  5. Looking to the future.

The study dialogue identified influences on the nurses’ confidence, and the reflective practice which consistently permeated new graduate nurses’ nursing practice.

Key words: Confidence; New graduate nurse; Appreciative Inquiry.