Transition for Nurse Graduates in Saudi Arabia: An Exploratory Study


Introduction to the chapter

This research aims at exploring the nurse transition programs that ought to transform New Graduate Nurses (NGNs) into professional nurses. The study results will be very controversial; therefore, it is necessary to employ an organised approach to achieve the required results. Research methodology enables the researcher to formulate an organised way of handling a research problem. The entire procedure gives a detailed description of the approaches that the researcher will employ to collect, analyse, and interpret data to formulate a clear understanding of the underlying issue (Creswell & Clark, 2007).

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The researcher will explain and give justifications of the choice of the methods and materials of collecting data. The relationship between various variables will help understand the underlying concept. Most importantly, it is necessary to employ a detailed research design, an accurate sampling procedure, and reliable data collection and analysis procedures.

Research Design

This research will combine several research designs to come up with the required data. From one time to another, the researcher will have to use a descriptive research design while making naturalistic observations. The research can take a fixed or a flexible research design depending on the circumstance. It is worth noting that the researcher has already identified some variables of interest from the literature review, thus, the entire research will seek to measure the variables quantitatively. However, this does not mean that the researcher is fixed to doing quantitative research.

Occasionally, there will be a need to measure some variables that do have quantitative measures. Measuring the implication of nurse transition programs is a tricky study that will require a combination of several research designs. Measuring the relationship between nurse transition programs and retention levels, for example, will require numerical data that will require statistical analysis. On the other hand, trying to find out the reality shocks of nurse transition programs may require the researcher to rely on the views of the participants. In this case, the researcher would collect data consisting of unquantifiable words. Essentially, a combination of several research designs will provide a better understanding of the research problem.

Methodology: A mixed-method approach

A mixed-method approach is very efficient in gaining a better understanding of an issue, as the quantitative and qualitative methods have some insufficiencies. Researchers who use the two approaches concurrently are able to complement the weaknesses of each design (Creswell, 2009). In the study to measure the implication of transitional programs in Saudi Arabia for nurses and healthcare facilities, the researcher will collect, analyse and integrate quantitative and qualitative data.

In this case, the researcher will use questionnaires and interviews to collect the required data. There will be a need to compare and relate different variables, and a decisive interpretation will be necessary for every step. The mixed-method will allow the researcher to choose the most suitable sample size depending on whether the researcher is in the first or second stage of collecting data (Nataliya, Creswell, & Stick, 2006). Moreover, when the research results are universal, the mixed method allows the researcher to generalize the results.

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Sequential Explanatory design

The sequential explanatory design is very essential in this case, as the researcher intends to use two consecutive phases in one study. If the researcher employs a quantitative research method alone, it would be impossible to identify the significant or insignificant predictor variables. However, when using a sequential explanatory design, the quantitative results will provide a general understanding of the dependent and independent variables that cause the reality shocks in the nurse transition programs. Thereafter, a qualitative study will scrutinize the quantitative results to obtain a clear understanding of the scenario. The sequential explanatory design will allow the researcher to make a statistical, theoretical, and thematic analysis of the difficult scenario (Hanson, Creswell, Clark, & Petska, 2005).

Site of data collection

This research aims at exploring the major hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The researcher made a random selection of seven hospitals from Riyadh to take part in the study. The hospitals are Prince Sultan Medical Military City (PSMMC), King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), King Fisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSHRC), King Saud Medical City (KSMC), and Prince mohammedbimabualaziz hospital. The selected hospitals have strict nurse transition programs that train NGNs to become professionals. The hospitals have hosted such programs for a considerably long period, and some of the NGN were retained in the hospital after gaining enough experience.


The researcher will employ a random sampling technique to sample the respondents to take part in the study. In the first phase, the researcher will distribute questionnaires to randomly selected new graduate nurses working in the selected hospitals. It will be necessary to employ some personal judgement to identify the most cooperative respondents. The researcher will then make follow-ups to ensure that the highest numbers of duly filled questionnaires are collected. The quantitative phase of the study will focus on the specific internal and external variables that affect NSNs during the nurse transition program. The nurse graduates will identify if the reality shocks relate to the program, faculty, institution, preceptors, or other external factors. The external factors will serve as predictors of the NSNs’ rate of turnover.

In the second phase, the researcher will approach various preceptors and inquire about different items of interest. There will be no specific sampling technique in selecting the preceptors to take part in the study. The researcher will employ personal judgement to identify the most approachable preceptors to take part in the study. Essentially, the researcher will have carried out a statistical test of the quantitative data; therefore, the second phase will seek to explore the results of the quantitative data. The researcher will aim at addressing internal factors as well as the sceptically explained external variables.

The researcher will use structured interview pamphlets together with reflection notes to back up the quantitative data. In this case, the quantitative data will have the first priority while the qualitative data will only add flesh to the findings of the quantitative data.

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Inclusion and exclusion criteria

This helps in attaining precision through the right choice of participants of the study (Yin, 2004). The respondent will target the New Graduate Nurses (NGNs) and preceptors. The inclusion and exclusion criteria will base on the number of years of experience. The NGNs who have a minimum of 2 years of nurse transition experience will be included in the study, while those with less than one year of experience will not qualify to take part in the study.

There is a possibility that the NGNs with less than one year of experience will not have encountered enough experience to qualify to fill in the questionnaire. The NGNs who have been in the program for at least two years will give genuine answers from their life experience. Moreover, the preceptors who have not interacted with the students for at least two years will not qualify for the interviews. This is because the study seeks to obtain information from preceptors who have related to the NGNs closely.

The inclusion and exclusion criteria will also apply to any additional hospitals that will take part in the study. Hospitals that have not had nurse transition programs for at least five years will not qualify to take part in the study, as they will not give efficient information.

Data collection procedure

As indicated, the researcher will collect both quantitative and qualitative data. To obtain the quantitative data, the researcher will develop questionnaires that ask specific questions that will obtain quantifiable data from the respondents. The researcher will deliver the questionnaires to the randomly selected respondents. It is anticipated that the questionnaire will contain self-explanatory questions; however, if need be, the researcher will interpret complex questions to the respondents. The researcher is obligated to make inquiries in an unbiased and objective manner while collecting the quantitative data. After collecting the quantitative data, the researcher will analyse the results using reliable statistical software to obtain an overview of the relationship of the dependent and the independent variables.

Thereafter, the researcher will come up with interview questions that will seek to clarify dubious issues from the quantitative data. While collecting qualitative data, the researcher will interrogate the respondents to obtain their views about the dubious issues. In this case, the researcher will be getting the qualitative data from the preceptors to ascertain the truth of the information that the NGNs had given earlier. There will be a need to classify the words according to certain themes while making an inquiry subjectively. Inductive reasoning will be indispensable while collecting qualitative data, as the researcher will listen to the respondents and make personal judgements. Whenever possible, the researcher will collect the quantitative and qualitative data concurrently.

Data analysis

Firstly, the researcher will analyse the qualitative and quantitative data separately. However, during interpretation, there will be a need to merge the results to bring a clear understanding. Essentially, the researcher will use the quantitative results to shape the qualitative interview questions. As indicated, a statistical analysis will be necessary to obtain an understanding of the quantitative data, and thereafter, the researcher will make a qualitative exploration and internal interpretation of the statistical results obtained. Dedoose mixed methods research software will be very essential in merging and analysing data from various sources.

If the researcher manages to make an audio record of the interviews, the software can analyse and give a concise report. Thereafter, it will be easy to develop a clear research report that contains statistical and thematic analysis results.


It is worth noting that the mixed method of carrying out a research study is very efficient. It enables the researcher to obtain valid results from different findings. A researcher can always have a strong basis to support arguments from all relevant angles. The mixed-method allows researchers to make use of previous researches to measure their level of success (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2008). However, it requires the researcher to have qualitative and quantitative skills. The researcher ought to have extensive skills in merging two databases to give a clear interpretation of the results. Although the entire exercise requires substantial effort and expertise, the results of a mixed-method approach are admirable.


Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. New York: Wiley Online Library.

Hanson, W. E., Creswell, J. W., Clark, V. P., & Petska, K. P. (2005). Mixed methods research designs in counselling psychology. Journal of Counselling Psychology, 52(2), 224-235.

Nataliya, V. I., Creswell, J.W., & Stick, S. L. (2006). Using mixed-methods sequential explanatory design: From theory to practice. Field Methods, 18(3), 1-18.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2008). Handbook on mixed methods in the behavioural and social sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Yin, R. (2004). Case study research: Design and methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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