Critical Care Mentoring Study: Educational Strategies to Enhance Retention and Recruitment of Nurses

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 9:10 AM

Debra Bournes, RN, PhD1
Mary Ferguson-Pare, RN, PhD2
Carolyn Plummer, RN, MHSc1
Jane Hollett, RN, MSc1
Donna Sherman, RN, MScN3
1Nursing, University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
2University Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada
3Nursing, Universtiy Health Network, Toronto, ON, Canada

Learning Objective 1: 1. The learner will be able to describe the background, design, and implementation of an innovative nurse retention and professional development mentoring model, for nurses.

Learning Objective 2: 2. The learner will be able to discuss ways in which the model could be replicated in other clinical settings and at other healthcare organizations.

Purpose: There is strong evidence that participating in a mentoring program—either as the novice or the experienced nurse in the dyad—improves retention and satisfaction of nurses, enhances communication among team members, reduces workplace stress, increases confidence, creates an environment that fosters creativity and self-direction among staff, and improves patient outcomes. Participating in a mentoring program with facilitated education, critical reflection, and teaching about practice and theory-guided mentoring during paid time is one way to provide this opportunity.

Method: This presentation will describe a study that used a longitudinal, repeated measures, descriptive-comparative design and a qualitative descriptive design to evaluate the impact of a mentoring program with experienced critical care nurses and new graduate nurses interested in a career in critical care. Participants were recruited in a large urban academic hospital (11 critical care nurses and12 novice nurses). They spent 80% of their time in direct patient care, and 20% of their time on professional development including focused learning about the humanbecoming theory and mentoring model. Mentors and protégés also worked together on quality improvement projects and presented them to colleagues and leaders across the organization.

Results: The findings demonstrate a positive impact on nurse satisfaction, sick time, overtime, and retention. Nurse participants reported being more concerned with listening to patients and families and with getting to know what is important to them. They also described the benefits of the program in relation to how they learned from each other, how it increased their confidence, and how it helped them be with their colleagues in more meaningful ways.

Conclusion: A mentoring program that utilizes facilitated education, critical reflection, and teaching about practice/theory-guided mentoring improves quality of work life for both critical care and new graduate nurses, enhances nurse mentoring capacity, and supports recruitment and retention of critical care nurses.