A qualitative study exploring experiences of online peer support for newly qualified nurses: Study protocol

Natalie Webster, Jan Oyebode, Catharine Jenkins, Sarah Bicknell, Analisa Smythe

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Aim: To explore experiences of online peer support for newly qualified nurses accessed via smartphone or PC. Design: Qualitative study using semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis. Method: Phase one involves conducting focus groups with newly qualified nurses in the West Midlands area to refine the online peer support environment. Phase two involves 30-40 new nurses joining an online peer group for 3 months; participants will be able to access a general chat community alongside a more structured discussion board. Phase 3 will collect written interview data from all participants about their experiences of online peer support. Face-to-face interviews with 10-12 participants will also be undertaken. The study will run from May 2018 to October 2019. Findings: Data from focus groups, written and verbal interviews will be analysed using thematic analysis with the aid of NVivo software. Findings will be disseminated to participants and key stakeholders involved in the study and also via publication and networking events. Conclusion: If online peer support is found to be beneficial for new nurses, it may be adopted by local NHS trusts as part of an innovation scheme. Impact: It is important that the psychological wellbeing of nurses is seriously addressed as more nurses are now leaving than joining the profession. An online peer support group could offer a sustainable and accessible means of promoting psychological wellbeing in the nursing workforce and potentially decrease intention to leave the profession.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1585-1591
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 31 Oct 2019


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