Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Collaboration in Career Transitions: Moving In, Moving Through, and Moving Out of an Accelerated Second Career Program
Collaboration in Career Transitions: Moving Through an Accelerated Second Career Program
Patricia Frohock Hanes, RN, MSN, MAEd, PhD(c) and Shirley M. Farr, MSN, CNS. School of Nursing, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, USA

Background: Second career students have complex needs that require wide-ranging support services. Limited literature exists on facilitating second-career students transitioning through accelerated second career nursing programs.

Purpose: This presentation describes SCAN’s  mentoring program to assist students in Moving Through the pre-and post-licensure components.  

Conceptual Framework: The strategies were based on Schlossberg’s Transition Theory. 

Methods: In Moving Through the pre-licensure and post-licensure (graduate) components, we provide a multilevel, interdisciplinary student mentoring program (MISMP) that offers: (a) mentoring for career counseling, writing, and peer to peer; (b) spiritual mentors; and (c) tutors and learning coaches. During the graduate component, the students are paired with successful community-based advanced practice nurse mentors. Critical focus is not only on the formal curriculum but also on the “hidden curriculum” that significantly shapes student professional development. Thus, a partnership is developed with carefully selected clinical sites where students experience the professional behaviors of clinicians, the hidden rules, and the norms of how to navigate the institution called “Nursing.” In Moving Through the graduate component, additional research-based teaching/learning methods are used, including standardized patients, computerized clinical logs, and mannequin simulators.

Outcomes: We attribute our 85% retention rate to our multilevel, interdisciplinary student mentoring program. Students reported forming peer-to-peer mentoring links based on learning styles and personality types. The students intermittently interacted with the career, writing, and spiritual mentors as needed. Orientation meetings were useful in clarifying changing expectations for students moving into higher levels of study. Additional research using focus groups will be conducted at the end of the post-licensure phase.  

Conclusions: Evidence shows that the use of a mentoring program specifically developed for SCAN students facilitates Moving Through the program and fosters their career transition.