From twisting to settling down as a nurse in China: a qualitative study of the commitment to nursing as a career


The nurse workforce shortage, partially caused by high work turnover, is an important factor influencing the quality of patient care. Because previous studies concerning Chinese nurse work turnover were predominantly quantitative, they lacked insight into the challenges faced by nurses as they transition from university to their career. A successful transition can result in new nurses’ commitment to the career. As such, this study sought to understand how new nurses commit to the career, and focused on identifying facilitators and barriers to such commitment.


This was a qualitative study using a grounded theory design. Through purposive sampling, clinical nurses were recruited from hospitals in Western China to participate in semi-structured interviews. The data was analyzed through coding to develop categories and themes.


Theoretical saturation was achieved after interviewing 25 participants. The data revealed the ‘zigzag journey’ of committing to the nursing career. The emerging core theme was “getting settled”, indicating that new nurses needed to acclimate to the work reality in the nursing career. By analyzing the data provided by the participants, the researchers concluded that the journey to getting settled in nursing compassed four stages:1) “sailing out with mixed feelings”, 2) “contemplating to leave”, 3) “struggling to stay”, and 4) “accepting the role”. For most participants, nursing was described as a way to earn a living for their family, not as a career about which they felt passionate.


Committing to the nursing career is a complicated long-term process. There seems to be a lack of passion for nursing among the Chinese clinical nurses participating in this study. Thus, the nurses may need continued support at different career stages to enhance their ability to remain a nurse for more than economic reasons.

Correlates of posttraumatic growth among nursing professionals: A cross-sectional analysis

Aims: Among nursing professionals, our aims were to examine (a) self-reported traumatic experiences, (b) differences in post-traumatic growth (i.e. positive psychological growth after experiencing a traumatic event) by nursing professional level and (c) demographic, work-related, behavioural and traumatic experience covariates of post-traumatic growth.

Background: Trauma experience among nursing professionals is higher than observed in the general population. Due to the nature of their work environment, workplace trauma rates are particularly alarming. Understanding post-traumatic growth among nursing professionals may guide interventions to enhance well-being.

Method: A secondary analysis of cross-sectional survey data from nursing professionals (N = 299). Demographic, work-related, behavioural, trauma experience categories and post-traumatic growth variables were examined.

Results: Advanced practice nurses and clinical nurses reported higher rates of workplace trauma, as compared to nursing assistants. Higher post-traumatic growth scores were associated with having a postgraduate degree, serving the paediatric population and lower frequency of alcohol use. Lower post-traumatic growth scores were associated with being married/widowed, being an advanced practice provider or clinical nurse, working in the intensive care unit and reporting workplace, family/personal stress and undisclosed trauma.

Conclusions: Nursing professionals have several demographic, work-related, behavioural and traumatic experience-related variables associated with and that explain variances in post-traumatic growth.

Implication for nursing management: Targeted screening and individualized treatment based on nursing professional level should be considered to support trauma recovery and post-traumatic growth.