Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master Of Science In Nursing

Colleges & School

Ruth S. Coleman College Of Nursing And Health Sciences

First Advisor

Lea Monahan, PhD, RN

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Mentoring in nursing;Interpersonal communication;Nurses--In-service training


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship development, the level of support afforded, and the communication style of novice nurses. This study was chosen to assist with clarification of the concept that nurses "eat their young". The study was conducted in a metropolitan health care system in the mid-west with participants from a variety of settings within this system, including acute care and community service. Participants were volunteers from a convenience sample, all with less than eighteen months of experience. The study utilized a qualitative research methodology with semi-structured interviews employed to collect data. The study was limited by size of sample and location, however consistent themes emerged from the interviews. It is important to note that all participants had both positive and negative experiences to share. The study revealed that participants had an unrealistic expectation of their new role. Participants felt unprepared for their role as professional nurses and the majority of participants felt inadequate when it came to professional communication. The data strongly suggested that they felt unsupported by colleagues, more so by the senior staff. The study revealed information regarding negative offenses committed by senior staff when it came to mentoring and support of new nurses. A strong lack of support and mentoring by senior staff was very evident throughout the data. Many of the participants had difficulty assimilating into their work environments, related to difficulty in developing collegial relationships, and several were already in their second position. The study does pose some meaningful suggestions for nursing related to professional relationships, mentoring, and education. The need to make the transition from student to practitioner easier was obvious. The level of professional communication could be strengthened and the capability to support and mentor new nurses within the profession needs to be improved.


Open Access

OCLC Number


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Included in

Nursing Commons