New graduates’ readiness for practice in Swaziland: An exploration of stakeholders’ perspectives

Colile P. Dlamini, Ntombifikile G. Mtshali, Cynthia H. Dlamini, Sotah Mahanya, Thabile Shabangu, Zwelithini Tsabedze


Background: Employers and educators of nurses expect that, upon graduation, they will have acquired a basic set of scientific knowledge, clinical skills and professional attitudes. In Swaziland, however, these expectations remain unmet.

Methods: We explored the perceptions of stakeholders in nursing education of how new graduates cope and perform at service entry and the factors influencing their clinical competence. From 31 purposively recruited participants, audio-recorded focus group discussions were held with registered nurses and semi-structured interviews with lecturers and nurse managers. Data were analyzed thematically.

Results: Results showed that although the graduates indicated their willingness to learn and become autonomous in their practice, stakeholders felt that most new graduates were not ready for practice upon graduation. Factors contributing to this discrepancy were associated with inadequate preparation and lack of support upon service entry.

Conclusions: Stakeholders’ perceptions of the new graduates not being ready for practice call for the collaboration of academia, service and the regulatory body in establishing quality assurance mechanisms for clinical education and in providing structured support for new graduates at service entry to enhance easier and safer transition.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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