Nursing shortages across many clinical areas have been well documented both in Australia and internationally. It has been argued that this shortage is further exacerbated in critical care areas such as Emergency Departments (EDs). Transition to specialty practice programs (TSPPs), which offer elements of extended orientation, education and preceptorship, have been reported as offering potential for addressing workforce shortages, both as recruitment and as retention strategies. This paper presents an overview and analysis of the literature related to recruitment and retention issues in specialist nursing, followed by an examination of the effect of TSPPs in emergency nursing. In addition, an evaluation of recruitment and retention outcome measures used to evaluate each TSPP, and the professional development of participants is presented. The findings of the literature review indicate that TSPPs have been successful in recruiting and retaining nursing staff, however professional development outcomes have been inconsistently reported, and warrant further investigation.
- emergency nursing