Mentoring Front Line Nurses: University-Hospital Partnership

Wednesday, 15 July 2009: 2:25 PM

Chris Latham, RN
Nursing, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Karen K. Ringl, RN, BSN, MSN
Nursing Department, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Mikel Hogan, PhD
Human Services Department, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

Learning Objective 1: identify the components of the formal mentoring program that incorporates cultural competency.

Learning Objective 2: discuss the importance of a mentor relationship as a means to enhance professionalism.

Mentoring Front Line Nurses:  University-Hospital Partnership

Given the need to address multicultural patients’ health care needs and ethnically diverse health care teams, the results of a mentoring program that incorporated cultural competency will be discussed, including gains in conflict resolution and team building, as well as improved professionalism and  retention and among the front line nurses.  A university partnered with two hospitals to establish a seven-part mentoring program and a three-part evaluation focus. The mentoring program consisted of interactive mentor and mentee classes and follow-up mentor support groups, and the evaluation included intake data or precursors, the process, and professional Registered Nurse outcomes.

Design and Sample.  A quasi experimental design was utilized with pre-and post-tests over three years with a convenience sample of 192 front line registered nurses in two major medical settings representing over 33 unit areas.  The mentor and mentee group was ethnically diverse, with over 47% non Caucasian participants. Precursor data on staff RN mentors and mentees included their self- and organizational perceptions of cultural competence, and personal information on their personality type and learning style.  Outcome data collection after 3-years was collected on evaluation of current work environment, staff nurse input on decision making, as well as cultural competence and retention.

Findings.  Nurse recruitment and retention and perceptions of the workforce environment scores significantly improved following the interventions.  Teamwork improved (t =-3.045, p=.001), as did the ability to handle disagreement and conflict (t =- 1.890, p=.030).  Self-reports of cultural competence had high ratings, although organizational cultural competence ratings did not change.

Implications.  This study has international implications as the value of mentoring and the implementation of formal mentoring programs that inculcate cultural competency provide a springboard for improved professionalism, communication, team building, and conflict resolution among diverse health care workers.