Interventions to support graduate nurse transition to practice and associated outcomes: A systematic review

Amanda Kenny*, Virginia Dickson-Swift, Lisa McKenna, Martin Charette, Kathy L. Rush, Gemma Stacey, Angela Darvill, Jacqueline Leigh, Rob Burton, Craig Phillips

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)



The aim of this mixed methods systematic review was to: i) document the interventions that support and facilitate graduate nurse transition from university to practice in a diversity of healthcare settings and ii) to identify outcomes from graduate nurse transition interventions for the graduate, patient or client, and health service.


This mixed methods systematic review was guided by the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. All quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies were included if they met the inclusion criteria.

Data sources

Primary research studies located in Medline, EmBase, CINAHL, Prospero, Cochrane Library, PsycInfo, and Web of Science (Social Science Citation Index). All quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies were included if they met the inclusion criteria.

Review methods

Using a comprehensive search strategy, retrieved articles were screened by two reviewers at the title, abstract, and full-text stage. Reviewer disagreements were discussed until consensus was achieved. The well-validated Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool was used to assess quality of the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies.


A total of 130 studies were included as the review dataset. There was a myriad of terms used to describe transition interventions, and programme length and settings varied. The content of transition interventions was not well defined, and there was a lack of studies outside acute hospital settings. Data collection methods varied widely. The majority of authors reported outcomes for the graduate or the graduate and service, with only one reporting outcomes for the patient or client. There was a significant variation in quality across the studies.


This review addresses a significant gap in the literature by documenting transition interventions in a diversity of health settings and outcomes from these interventions. Interest in transition to practice continues to rise, but there is an urgent need to conduct well designed, robust, and larger-scale studies at the national and transnational levels.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104860
Number of pages10
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date13 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Cite this