Mentoring Program for Novice Nurse Practictioners (NPs): Post-Graduate Subspecialty Fellowships

Wednesday, 24 July 2013: 10:50 AM

Marci Farquhar-Snow, RN, MN, ACNP-BC
Cardiovascular Division, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Phoenix, AZ

Learning Objective 1: Differentiate between formal and informal mentoring relationships which can be used in post-graduate subspecialty NP fellowships.

Learning Objective 2: Describe strategies to assess mentee outcomes in formal mentoring programs for novice subspecialty NPs.

Purpose: Mentoring strategies can be developed for novice NPs entering subspecialty clinical practice to enhance active lifelong learning skills. Background: The increasing demand for competent healthcare providers to care for the growing population has created a need for more nurse practitioners (NPs). Although NPs are trained in health promotion, disease prevention and medical management, the vast diversity and variability in clinical experiences during training makes it difficult for potential employers, colleagues, or patients in subspecialty areas to interpret whether a NP possess competent skills particular to that setting.  As a RN transitions to a novice NP role, the challenge for employers is how to assess and evaluate whether specific knowledge and skills are met. Method: Using the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) as a framework, informal and formal mentoring strategies are using in the development of a post-graduate NP fellowship   to address the basic psychological needs of diverse adult learners: competence, autonomy and relatedness in order. Informal mentoring consists of role modeling and collegiality based upon guidance rather than observation of skills to meet the tactical needs of adult learners. Formal mentoring through structured simulated scenarios and collaborative group projects, are designed to be interdisciplinary and interactive to provide real life situations where critical thinking, group dynamics and autonomy may tested by the novice and then evaluated by the mentor to determine if acquisition of key concepts are met on an individual basis. Conclusions: Formal and informal mentoring allow a novice NP to develop effective  mentoring relationships designed to achieve their priorities while maintaining a structured learning pathway toward consistent common subspecialty practice goals.