Constructing work in a shiftworking world: Perspectives of early career registered nurses


This project aims to explore the relationship between early career registered nurses'(ECRNs) personal construction of work, experiences of the organisation of work and adaptation to shiftwork during the initial years of clinical practice.

It is intended that this will be a qualitative research project so that a richer understanding of the ECRNs own views of their work, what they view as the problems for them within the organisation of nursing work as they experience it and the impact this has on their adaptation to shift work can be achieved.


Associate Professor Sandra West

Research Location

Sydney Nursing School

Program Type



The current "shortage" of registered nurses (RNs) in NSW is in part at least attributable to the serious gap between the numbers of RNs certified for practice in NSW and the number of RNs actually working within the health care sector in this state. This gap is in part due to the failure to keep ECRNs actively engaged in clinical practice within the sector beyond and even up until the completion of their first postgraduate year. While there is increasing evidence that workplace "culture" is one of the important determinants of retention for ECNRNs, this study postulates that understanding the factors influencing the ECRNs decision to "leave nursing" will be enhanced by exploring  the ECNRNs personal positions on work, its place in their life, and their level of tolerance to the social disruption caused by the need to work shifts.

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Nursing, Shiftwork, Grounded Theory, Qualitative, Acute Care, Health Services

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 853