Mentoring Newly Graduated Registered Nurses

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Erica R. Martinez, RN, BSN
Critical Care, MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, IL

Learning Objective 1: discuss the mentorship program implemented at MacNeal Hospital.

Learning Objective 2: discuss how mentoring newly graduated registered nurses increases nurse satisfaction, nurse retention, and employee engagement.

MacNeal Hospital, a 300-bed community hospital, implemented a new graduate nurse residency program in August 2006 based on previous research showing that nurse retention and satisfaction among newly graduated RNs during the first year of work post-graduation is quite staggering. Despite the camaraderie and education made available by the residency program, a number of departments continued to suffer high turnover and low satisfaction among this group of new nurses. One specific department continued to suffer turnover of greater than 50% for the last 3 years despite the new graduate nurses being offered 8 hours of paid release time each month to attend the residency classes. Based on these statistics, a structured mentor program was implemented for this precarious group of new hires. Mentors are volunteer experienced nurses who do not work directly with new hires as a traditional preceptor might, but serve more as a sounding board and source of support and guidance along the path to professional development. The residency program has continued as before with slight modification to content and the precepted orientation for new graduate nurses has remained at 12-16 weeks depending on the new graduate’s needs and department of hire. The outcome measures to be evaluated at completion of the structured mentor program are nursing satisfaction, nursing retention, new nurse confidence, and employee engagement.