New graduate registered nurses’ experiences with psychological safety


new graduate nurses, nursing leaders, nursing managers, organizational learning, preceptor, psychological safety


Aim: The purpose of this study was to gain insight into new graduate registered nurses’ experiences with psychological safety.

Background: Organizational learning allows acute care hospitals to consistently provide high‐quality patient care. Psychological safety is critical for organizational learning. New graduate nurses in particular need to feel psychologically safe as they transition into professional nursing practice. Understanding new graduate registered nurses’ experiences of psychological safety can guide leaders and others to create work environments that foster psychological safety and organizational learning.

Method: Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 13 newly graduated registered nurses working in inpatient hospital settings. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Four primary themes featured prominently in the new graduate nurses’ experiences of psychological safety: building credibility, making personal connections, feeling supported and seeking safety.

Conclusion: Understanding these themes will help nursing education programmes, nurse managers, nurse colleagues and new graduate registered nurses foster psychological safety and create environments conducive to organisational learning.

Implications for Nursing Management: All members of the health care team involved in the new graduate registered nurses’ transition to practice have a role in fostering psychological safety. Additional research is needed to better understand psychological safety and how to foster it.

Original Publication Citation

Lyman, B, Gunn, MM, Mendon, CR. New graduate registered nurses’ experiences with psychological safety. Journal of Nursing Management. 2020; 28: 831– 839.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Journal of Nursing Management





University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor