Judy Duchscher

Maximizing entry to practice: Preparing new graduates for the ‘Real World’

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The preparation for, and integration of new nursing graduates (NNG) into the dynamic climate of the contemporary workplace today continues to challenge institutions of higher education and employers as well as administrators and labour policy makers across the globe.  The education of our contemporary workforce is a complex process that requires the balancing of advanced professional concepts and ideals, with work-role realities.  The author offers concrete insights into the elements required to successfully integrate NNGs into the intense and dynamic context of acute care practice.  With over 16 years of research, innovation, practice, leadership and managerial experience with NNGs in acute care, Duchscher frames her ideas in her Stages of Transition © theory and model of Transition Shock ©.  Her evidence-based, strategic approach to NNG transition is fed by over 10 years as the CEO of a large Canadian non-profit organization that served to support, sustain and develop leadership capacity in new professional nursing graduates. Having spent years working with NNGs and young nursing leaders at the intersection of education and practice, the author shares her insights on how to prepare professionals to lead their practice in a way that minimizes the stress they experience, while maximizing their early clinical and professional contributions. Optimizing a smooth professional role transition for our graduates not only maximizes their effectiveness as representatives of a professional discipline, but offers them to our communities as ambassadors of higher education and champions of social responsibility within the workplace.

Dr. Judy Boychuk Duchscher has been practicing nursing for 39 years in both Canada and the United States.  Her professional path has kept her interfacing with the contemporary healthcare environment in a variety of roles: as a direct care ICU/CCU and cardiothoracic acute-care nurse, clinical nursing educator, university professor and clinical instructor, nurse manager, and transplant coordinator.  As well, Dr. Duchscher spent 10 years developing, initiating and coordinating numerous heart/lung and organ donor transplant programs across the United States and Canada.  She has studied hospital nursing extensively and maintains a long-standing commitment to working with younger generations of professionals during their initial transition to practice.  Her research and study have generated a theory of Transition Shock and a model of the Stages of Transition that is being used internationally as the transition framework for nurse residency and new hire orientation programs. Duchscher’s study and work with newly graduated nurses inspired her to develop Nursing The Future,  an organization that serves as a bridge for thousands of nurses between the ideals taught in education and the realities of the ‘real’ world of practice.  Dr. Duchscher has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, and study of nursing and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and books on this subject.  She maintains that: “it is the vision, creativity and passionate commitment of our newest professionals combined with the practice knowledge, wisdom and loyalty of our most experienced nurses that will drive nursing and healthcare forward”.

See general information page on how you can purchase Judy’s book – Nursing the future – The voice of the new graduate