How new graduate nurses experience patient death : a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis

Zheng, Ruishuang, Lee, Susan Fiona and Bloomer, Melissa Jane 2016, How new graduate nurses experience patient death : a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis, International journal of nursing studies, vol. 53, pp. 320-330, doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.09.013.

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Title How new graduate nurses experience patient death : a systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis
Author(s) Zheng, Ruishuang
Lee, Susan Fiona
Bloomer, Melissa JaneORCID iD for Bloomer, Melissa Jane
Journal name International journal of nursing studies
Volume number 53
Start page 320
End page 330
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-01
ISSN 0020-7489
Summary Background

Patient death is an emotional and demanding experience for nurses, especially for new graduate nurses who are unprepared to deliver end-of-life care. Understanding new graduate nurses’ experience of death and dying will inform the design of training programs and interventions for improvements in the quality of care and support of new graduates.


To summarize new graduate nurses’ experience with patient death by examining the findings of existing qualitative studies.


Systematic review methods incorporating meta-synthesis were used.


A comprehensive search was conducted in 12 databases from January 1990 to December 2014. All qualitative and mixed-method studies in English and Chinese that explored new graduate nurses’ experience of patient death were included. Two independent reviewers selected the studies for inclusion and assessed each study quality. Meta-aggregation was performed to synthesize the findings of the included studies.


Five primary qualitative studies and one mix-method study met inclusion and quality criteria. Six key themes were identified from the original findings: emotional experiences, facilitating a good death, support for family, inadequacy on end-of-life care issues, personal and professional growth and coping strategies. New graduate nurses expressed a variety of feelings when faced with patient death, but still they tried to facilitate a good death for dying patients and provide support for their families. The nurses benefited from this challenging encounter though they lacked of coping strategies.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2015.09.013
Field of Research 1110 Nursing
111099 Nursing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920210 Nursing
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
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