The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a modified on-board training program for new nurses with an emphasis on the mentorship program that implemented a training-for-trainers program to cultivate both skills and attitudes of clinical preceptors for the purpose of strengthening the preceptors’ teaching ability and achieving better trainees’ performance outcomes.
This study used a quasi-experimental design. During the first phase of the study, we modified the content of the on-board training program for new nurses which included the production of nursing skills video tapes and designed the mentorship program which included lectures, group discussion, and practice sessions. During the second phase of the study, 115 new nurses were divided into an experimental group (n = 50) and a control group (n = 65). The nurses in the experimental group learned the techniques and skills in the first month, practiced under supervision of their preceptors in the second month, practiced independently during the third month, and completed their clinical skills assessment at the end of the first 6 months. The control group received usual training program. Both groups were evaluated at the completion of the 3-month trial period for their satisfaction with clinical teaching and perceived learning outcomes.
We completed mini nursing clinical assessment exercises (mini-CEX) for administration of analgesics and catheterization, nursing skills to operate observation (DOPS) evaluation forms for blood transfusion and phlebotomy. The Cronbach's Alpha values for each scorecard exceeded 0.9. The results showed that the retention rate of the experimental group was significantly higher in the experimental group than the control group; the retention rate increased by 10% compared with the previous year after the implementation of the new training program.
We also found the new nurses in the experimental group had higher levels of satisfaction with clinical teaching than those in the control group which could possibly explained the higher retention rate in the experimental group. The level of education of the preceptors also affect new nurses’ learning outcomes. In light of ever-changing clinical environments, it is important to optimize on-board training programs for new nurses to help them mature from novices to experts.