Preventing stress-related ill health among newly registered nurses by supporting engagement in proactive behaviors: development and feasibility testing of a behavior change intervention

Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2018 Jan 8:4:28. doi: 10.1186/s40814-017-0219-7. eCollection 2018.


Background: Transitioning into a new professional role is a stressful experience with consequences for mental and physical health, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover. New registered nurses seem to be at particular risk of developing stress-related ill health during their first years in the profession. Previous research indicates that engagement in proactive behaviors may reduce this risk.

Methods: With the work presented in this paper, we aimed to test the feasibility of conducting an evaluation of the effect of a behavior change intervention to prevent stress-related ill health among new registered nurses by supporting their engagement in proactive behaviors. Feasibility objectives included recruitment, randomization, data collection and analysis, participation, acceptability, and deliverability.We tested the feasibility of evaluating the effect of the intervention as part of a transition-to-practice program for new registered nurses using a non-randomized design with one condition. The trial included a sample of 65 new registered nurses who had been working for 6 months or less.

Results: The feasibility of conducting a full-scale effect evaluation was confirmed for recruitment, data collection and analysis, participation, and acceptability. It was not possible to randomize participants, but analyses of between-group differences revealed no selection bias. The time of the intervention will need to be extended to ensure the deliverability.

Conclusion: With some adjustments in the study design, it is feasible to evaluate the effect of a behavior change intervention to support new registered nurses' engagement in proactive behaviors during their transition into the new profession as part of a transition-to-practice program for new nurses.

Keywords: Intervention; Nurse; Prevention; Proactivity; Recovery; Socialization; Stress; Stress-related ill health.