(HealthDay News) — For new nurses, learning to speak up requires ongoing mentoring, according to a study published online March 5 in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

Noting that nurses have reported being hesitant about speaking up or being unable to be heard despite adopting safety tools, Bernice Yee-Shui Law, BSN, RN, and Engle Angela Chan, PhD, RN, from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, explored the process of learning to speak up in practice among newly graduated registered nurses. They recruited 18 new graduates, and during repeated unstructured interviews and ongoing e-mail conversations with three participants, they collected stories of experiences of speaking up.

The researchers identified three interrelated narrative threads: Learning to speak up requires more than one-off training and safety tools; mentoring for speaking up should be offered in the midst of educative and miseducative experiences; and public spaces should be made safe for sharing secret stories.

“Cultivating a safe and open culture of communication and mentoring new graduates to speak up will benefit patient safety now and in the future by helping to retain committed patient advocates who could mentor future generations,” the authors write.

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