Graduate nurses' capability upon entering the workforce: An integrative review

Farida Saghafi, Patricia Bromley, Diana Guzys, Leigh Harkness, Michelle Phillips, Carey Mather, Annette Saunders, Richard Say, Catherine Teare, Kathleen Tori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Objectives: To clarify capability for work readiness in newly graduated registered nurses as viewed from the perspective of clinicians in practice, educators in tertiary institutions, and graduates. Design: Integrative review. Data sources: Databases searched for peer-reviewed studies included PubMed, MEDLINE, ERIC, Campbell collaboration, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases. Review methods: Pragmatism informed this integrative review. The five-stage method described by Whittemore and Knafl was used to enable rigorous examination of the expected capability of graduate nurses. A comprehensive database search was conducted using PRISMA guidelines. Eighteen articles were appraised and analysed for this review. The capability concept was used as a framework for analysis. Results: Eighteen articles met the inclusion criteria. Findings revealed that although there is no definition for graduate nurses' work readiness, there is a common theme. Graduate nurses are expected to have broad theoretical knowledge (knowing) along with practical knowledge (doing). They are also expected to demonstrate integrity, honesty, respect, compassion, and a moral compass. A list of personal attributes and organisational acumen was also reflective of graduate readiness upon entering the workforce and identified as necessary capabilities for graduates. Conclusions: A picture of the perfect employee is illustrated in the definition of work readiness by the participants of the original studies. Yet there is a lack of stakeholder consensus on the capabilities expected from a graduate nurse.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105659
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Capability
  • Competence
  • Graduate nurse
  • Integrative review
  • Nurse
  • Work readiness


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