Newly graduate nurse perception and experience of clinical handover

Jessie Yuk Seng Chung, William Ho Cheung Li, Laurie Long Kwan Ho, Ankie Tan Cheung, Joyce Oi Kwan Chung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Clinical handover is challenging for newly graduated nurses. Previous studies have showed that many new graduates perform handover ineffectively and unsystematically; however, our knowledge of newly graduated nurse perceptions of handover, including barriers and challenges to handover, is incomplete. Objectives: The study aimed to explore newly graduated nurse experience of clinical handover in Hong Kong public hospitals. Design: This was a descriptive phenomenological study. Setting: Participants were recruited from 11 public acute care hospitals in Hong Kong. Participants: The participants were a convenience sample of 20 nurses who had graduated within the previous 12 months. Methods: Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted, and the data were analysed using content analysis. Results: Three themes emerged from the data: ‘significance of clinical handovers,’ ‘feelings of frustration about clinical handover,’ and ‘perceived barriers to handover.’ Participants perceived clinical handover as an essential nursing practice in the provision of continuous patient care. Further, some new graduates experienced stress and anxiety in clinical handover, which severely affected their quality of life. Perceived barriers to handover included inadequate professional judgement, poor ability to synthesize the important information, and unsystematic reporting. Conclusions: Newly graduated nurses face challenges and encounter difficulties in performing clinical handover. Handover theory and, in particular, skills training should be introduced into the undergraduate nursing curriculum, to arm students with the confidence and competence to perform appropriate clinical handover.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104693
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Clinical handover
  • New graduate nurses
  • Nursing education
  • Nursing practice
  • Undergraduate nursing curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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