Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Career choice by nursing undergraduates

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

I was speaking to a medical doctor recently whose daughter was a nursing student and when I asked which area of nursing she might enter he said that she most liked that last clinical area in which she had worked - whatever that happened to be.  I well recall that phenomenon from my own time as a student nurse.

A recent Norwegian study by Abrahamsen (2104) titled: 'Nurses’ choice of clinical field in early career' and published in JAN investigates what influences undergraduate nursing students' choices.

Two-hundred and ninety students were involved in a longitudinal study which started in 2001.  They were asked throughout about which clinical fields they wanted to enter and also about theoretical professional knowledge and practical skills acquired, and job values.  The outcomes focused on care of older people and psychiatry.  Gender played no part in the decision, but age did, with an increasing tendency to express an interest in working with older people, rather than hospital care, as nurses got older.  The higher the score on acquired practical knowledge and the lower the score on theoretical knowledge, the more likely students were to express an interest in psychiatry and as altruism increased, so did the tendency to express an interest in working with older people.

The study has practical implications; in the words of the author: 'The findings indicate that less popular nursing fields like care of older people and psychiatry need to develop recruitment strategies as to entice qualified nurses to choose these fields.' and 'Further research should pay greater attention to motives behind nurses’ choice of career path...A focus on motivation is essential to develop strategies both about recruitment and to ensure that nurses remain working in those fields.'


Abrahamsen B (2014) Nurses’ choice of clinical field in early career Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12512

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Bullying is not nice

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Bullying is a problem in nursing as several papers over the years in JAN have shown (Randle 2003, Laschinger et al. 2010).  A new paper titled: 'The effect of bullying on burnout in nurses: the moderating role of psychological detachment' and published in JAN by Allen and Holland (2014) examines: 'the relationship between bullying
and burnout and the potential buffering effect psychological detachment might have on this relationship'.

Bullying is known to have negative consequences and one of these is burnout which leads to low sense of personal accomplishment, depersonalisation and exhaustion.  The idea being tested in the present study was the theory that detachment from work - leisure time, 'recharging batteries' and just getting away from it - would have a positive effect in mediating the effect of bullying.  In this sense the study is unique.

The outcome of the study was that, while psychological detachment may alleviate some of the effects of burnout, it did not alleviate the effect of bullying on burnout.  Therefore, while 'switching off' from work is useful and should be encouraged, the effect of bullying is pervasive; in the words of the authors: 'Ensuring there are workplace policies and practices in place in healthcare organizations to reduce the instances of bullying and proactively address it when it does occur would therefore seem crucial'.


Allen BC,  Holland P (2014) The effect of bullying on burnout in nurses: the moderating role of
psychological detachment Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12489

Randle J (2003) Bullying in the nursing profession  Journal of Advanced Nursing 4, 395-401

  1. Laschinger HKS,
  2. Grau AL, 
  3. Finegan
  4.  J,  
  5. Wilk P (2010)
  6. New graduate nurses’ experiences of bullying and burnout in hospital settings Journal of Advanced Nursing 12, 2732-2742

Capability, not just competence

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Ever since I encountered the 'capability envelope' of Stephenson and Yorke (1998) I have been an advocate.  The theory of capability is that it enables people who are competent to move from their 'comfort zone' of competence into capability where they can apply themselves to new and unexpected problems.  My fear about the competence agenda in nursing is that it keeps nurses in their 'comfort zones' and that the link between competence and capability is higher education.

A recent paper by O’Connell et al. (2014) titled: ‘Beyond competencies: using a capability framework indeveloping practice standards for advanced practice nursing’ and published in JAN discusses 'the application of a capability framework for advanced practice nursing standards/competencies'.  In the words of the authors: 'Capability has been described as the combination of skills, knowledge, values and self-esteem which enables individuals to manage change, be flexible and move beyond competency'.  


O’Connell J, Gardner G, Coyer F (2014) Beyond competencies: using a capability framework in developing practice standards for advanced practice nursing Journal of Advanced Nursing doi: 10.1111/jan.12475

Stephenson J, Yorke M (1998) Capability and Quality in Higher Education Routlegde, Abingdon

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Seen the JAN app yet?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

Ever wished you could read JAN 'on the move' on your iPad or iPhone? Well, now you can. A link to the JAN app is available on the JAN webpage.

The app is free to download and the full text of the articles from Early View through to those in issues of JAN can be accessed if your have a personal subscription or your institution has a subscription.

What does the JAN app do?

Speaking only from the iPad perspective - and I welcome comments on the blog from users of other platforms - the app appears in your Newsstand and appears as a facsimile of the familiar JAN cover. Opening the app reveals a selection of options: Early view; Issues; and Saved articles. There is also a tool for selecting the appearance of the articles and an information button. Accessing issues and Early View articles is intuitive and easy. Early View articles are available to read immediately and issues have to be downloaded. If you see an article you like and want easy access to it in future, there is a star to the left of the article which you can press to save it.