Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news Events PhD ceremonies

From student nurse to nurse professional

The shaping of professional identity in nursing
PhD ceremony:dr. Y. (Yvonne) ten Hoeve
When:February 07, 2018
Supervisors:prof. dr. P.F. Roodbol, dr. S. (Stynke) Castelein
Co-supervisors:dr. G.J. Jansen, dr. E.S. (Saskia) Kunnen
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Medical Sciences / UMCG

From student nurse to nurse professional

Nursing shortages are a serious problem, caused by a decreasing supply of nurses and an increasing demand for care.

Yvonne ten Hoeve investigated why students choose a nursing career and which factors affect their decision to leave or complete their programme. It turns out that especially good guidance and emotional support from teaching staff and mentors are indispensable to motivate students to continue. In addition, intrinsic factors (the explicit wish to become a nurse and perseverance) and extrinsic factors (support and encouragement of family and friends) play an important role.

She also investigated what situations young novice nurses are confronted with at the beginning of their career. This study showed that they go through a transition process with many challenging, existential and stressful situations. The increasing complexity of care in particular has a negative influence on their commitment to the profession. Confrontations with seriously ill patients and negative experiences with aggressive patients are not reasons for young nurses to leave the profession, but they do have a major impact on their emotions, such as feelings of sadness, powerlessness and anger. An important strategy to deal with these feelings is to share their emotional experiences with their colleagues and supervisors.

To reduce nursing shortages, it is vital to increase work satisfaction and commitment of both students and nurses by offering them a safe working environment. Support from colleagues and supervisors is fundamental to recruit and retain a motivated, well-trained nursing workforce.