The Effect of a Formal Mentoring Program on Career Satisfaction and Intent to Stay in the Faculty Role for Novice Nurse Faculty

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 11:40 AM

Bette A. Mariani, PhD, RN
College of Nursing, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
Stephanie M. Jeffers, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN
School of Nursing, Widener University, Chester, PA, USA

BackgroundThe transition from the role of a clinician to that of faculty in an academic setting can be challenging and stressful for novice nurse faculty. A lack of support and mentoring for these novice nurse faculty can impact how they view their role as faculty. In 2006, the National League for Nursing (NLN) released a position statement describing their vision of mentoring for nurse faculty. This statement declared that mentorship among nurse faculty is essential in order to recruit and retain nursing faculty, to fill the numerous vacancies in colleges and universities and ultimately have available resources to educate the next generation of nurses. The NLN also described the positive aspects of mentoring nurse faculty, such as providing a supportive work environment, decreasing feelings of seclusion, and increasing nurse faculty’s confidence, knowledge, and skill in nursing education. With the impending nurse faculty shortage, it is imperative that nursing education programs develop an approach such as formal mentorship programs to recruit and retain novice nurse faculty.

PurposeThe primary purpose of this study was to explore the influence of a formal mentoring program on career satisfaction of novice full-time nurse faculty in undergraduate baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs. The second purpose of the study was to explore the influence of participation in a formal mentoring program on novice nurse faculty intent to continue in the role of nursing faculty.  The third purpose of this study was to explore the experience of novice faculty.

DesignThis mixed-method study used a combination of a quantitative, descriptive comparative and qualitative designs. The purpose of the descriptive comparative study was to: 1) describe and examine the differences in career satisfaction between two groups, those novice nurse faculty that have participated in a formal mentoring program and those novice nurse faculty that have not participated in a formal mentoring program; and 2) explore the intent of novice nurse faculty to stay in the faculty role. The phenomenon of interest was mentoring and the dependent variables were career satisfaction and intent to continue in a nurse faculty role. This study also included a qualitative piece, with open-ended questions in the survey.  The purpose of this was to gain further understanding of the experiences and emotions experienced by the participants during their transition from clinical practice to academia, as well as their possible experiences with being mentored in the faculty role.

Sample and Setting: The sample included a random selection of nursing faculty of undergraduate baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs across the country. The study was conducted through the use of an electronic survey that was emailed to the participants with a letter of explanation.

MethodFollowing IRB approval an email with a letter of explanation and a link to the electronic survey were sent. The survey instruments included a demographic questionnaire and the Mariani Nursing Career Satisfaction Scale (MNCSS), a 16-item semantic differential scale intended to measure career satisfaction. This instrument has a CVI of .84 and a Cronbach’s alpha of > .90. Additionally, participants were asked open-ended questions about their experience as novice nurse faculty and the mentoring process.

ResultsThe survey was emailed to 905 participants, with a response rate of 17% (N = 150). The mean score for the MNCSS was obtained and independent t-tests were computed to compare scores of the faculty who had participated in a mentoring program with those who had not. Additional quantitative analysis was conducted for demographic data. Content analysis of the open-ended answers on the survey was conducted by reading and re-reading the answers; common themes were identified and will be reported.

Conclusions/Implications for NursingIt is clear that there will be a nursing faculty shortage as experienced and older faculty begin to retire. With the plethora of novice nurse faculty that are and will be entering the academic setting to fill these vacant faulty roles, it is imperative that more experienced nurse faculty and faculty leadership identify strategies to support these novice nurse faculty. Studies that demonstrate positive outcomes of mentoring programs are needed to provide support for these programs and novice faculty.