Exploring the Transition of Health Workers from Students to Professionals





Numerous studies have documented the transition difficulties that health care students experience when they move into paid professional practice. Addressed in this paper are three questions that challenge post-secondary educators. (1) What might a successful transition look like for a “new” health care professional? (2) What individual actions could we, as educators, initiate to promote successful transitions for our students? Should we accept mentoring as an effective strategy to support students’ transition, and if so (3) What might demonstrate effective mentorship? The evidence suggests that the process of transition into professional life for health care workers may be facilitated when post-secondary education experiences include the development of strong professional networks, the provision of supportive learning opportunities, supports for developing self-confidence in their new roles are provided and mentoring continues after graduation.

Author Biography

Sandra Hirst, Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary

Dr Sandra Hirst is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary. Sandra is widely known in the field of gerontology as an educator, clinician, and researcher. She has been a consultant for HRSDC, Health Canada, and Alberta Justice. Her research interests are wide-ranging: including gerontological education, long-term care, person-centred dementia care, and disaster and emergency preparedness. Sandra’s current areas of research and related scholarship focus on healthy aging, related challenges to quality of life, and the experiences of older adults. She has received three teaching awards, including one from the Government of Alberta. She is a reviewer for a number of peer -reviewed publications. In 2015, her latest book Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults was published by Wolters Kluwer. 






Transitioning from Student to Professional