Nurse Managers and the Four Phases of Work Acclimation Sample Paper

Nurse Managers and the Four Phases of Work Acclimation Sample Paper

Nurse Managers and the Four Phases of Work Acclimation Essay Paper


Newly graduated nurses often experience certain challenges that may need attention from nurse managers and senior nurses to help them overcome. The freshly graduated nurses face a new set of workers and a workplace that has its own set of norms, culture, and rules and regulations, that the nurses must adapt to as soon as possible (reference). Besides learning the norms of the new workplace, new nurses must manage the task assigned to them. They manage the huge volume of theoretical learning into practice. Therefore, the adjustment period is often stressful. Nurse managers must be responsible and guide new nurses through the transition (reference). This paper discusses nurse managers and the four phases of work acclimation.

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Reality Shock

As indicated in the discussion above, new nurses never experience an easy transition, from being a student to a full-time worker. The new environment comes with a lot of challenges that need serious attention (reference). Reality shock can affect everyone regardless of one’s stage of career. It can happen with fresh graduates entering the workforce or with experienced employees transitioning into roles of increased responsibility. During reality shock, the new nurse may realize that the new job or position needs more responsibility, physical,Four Phases of Work Acclimation or mental hardship than what the job description provided. In some instances, the new employee may find the company’s internal structure too difficult to understand or navigate (reference). There are four fundamental phases of reality shock; also called the phases of work acclimation.

Honeymoon stage

Graduates normally commence in the honeymoon phase. During this phase, new nurses feel confident in their academically acquired knowledge (reference). They often take a rose-colored view of their profession. The observable characteristics during the honeymoon phase include being idealistic about their professional role. They also become optimistic and are generally excited about getting a paying job and commencing their career journey (reference). The work is interesting and nurses enjoy caring for the patients.

Shock stage

This is usually the second phase, demarcated by emotional withdrawal, rejection, hostility, fatigue, and even illness in some people. During the shock stage, the new nurse begins to understand the incredible demands they never anticipated (reference). They even begin to think they had chosen the wrong profession. At the beginning of the shock phase, the graduate will demonstrate the above-mentioned emotions.

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Recovery stage

New graduates equipped with the tools to successfully navigate through the shock phase progress to the recovery phase. This phase of work acclimation is marked by reduced anxiety and increased coping ability (reference). Although the recovery stage may be still drowning, nurses will begin to feel slightly better and more confident. Their job performance improves and they see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

Resolution stage

In this stage, the new has developed the needed perspectives and can realize that there are both positive and negative aspects of nursing, and have identified that positive ones outweigh the negative ones. According to (reference), the outcome of this stage can be either positive or negative based on the experience with the previous stages. It may result in either a successful transition to a confident and competent practitioner or burnout and a possible decision to leave the profession. Most nurses need about a year to arrive at this point. They become fully responsible members of the nursing profession.

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Culture Shock

Culture Shock is similar to reality shock; however, it takes a social perspective rather than general work experience. It is often applied to people who travel to or live-in foreign countries for extended periods. It can also apply to anyone who needs to adjust to an unfamiliar professional or social environment (reference). Culture shock also occurs through four phases such as honeymoon, frustration stage, adjustment stage, and acceptable stag. During the honeymoon, nurses are happy and excited. In the frustration stage, they feel like other workers have annoying behavior. At the adjustment stage, frustration fades and they begin to feel they fit in (reference). The acceptance stage is when new nurses are full acclimated to their environment.

Nurse Managers’ Role in Assisting New Nurses Through the Work Acclimation Phases

New nurses are unable to completely avoid reality shock and culture shock. Therefore, nurse managers are in better positions to assist them to experience a smooth transition. Preceptor programs and monitoring can be helpful by allowing each nurse to work closely with a senior colleague (reference). New nurses are assigned a higher-up person with whom they can ask questions and get answers. Another way is by creating a positive environment where new nurses can have the opportunity to practice their skills and realize positive outcomes.

Nurse managers can assist new nurses to create plans for their transition period. By creating a plan, new nurses can get prepared to overcome the challenges and stressors they are likely to face (reference). Committed educators are required to support the graduates by educating them throughout the period.


Freshly graduated nurses face various challenges during their transition. New nurses undergo the four phases of work acclimation based on reality shock or culture shock contexts. The four phases new nurses experience during reality shock include the honeymoon, shock stage, recovery stage, and resolution stage. Nurse managers must find the appropriate methods of assisting new nurses throughout their transition.


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