Mentoring, Modeling, and Mastery: An Innovative Mentoring Model to Support New Clinical Nursing Faculty

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 4:30 PM

Pamela Karagory, DNP, MBA, MSB, BSN, RN, CNE1
Kristen F. Kirby, MSN, BSN, RN, FNP-C2
Becky S. Walters, MSN, FNP-BC, CWCN3
Abby Berg, MSN2
Joy Pieper, MSN2
Diane Hountz, DNP, ANP, RN4
(1)School of Nursing, Purdue University School of Nursing, West Lafayette, IN, USA
(2)School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA
(3)School of Nursing, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN, USA
(4)Nursing, Purdue University, School of Nursing, West Lafayette, IN, USA

Purpose: With the shortage of doctoral prepared nurse educators, advanced practice clinicians have historically been hired to fill these positions, bringing a surfeit of clinical experience to the School of Nursing but little or no educator experience. These new faculty members are vulnerable and unprepared for the demands, challenges, and complexity of a faculty role and require formal guidance and support as they transition into their new role. The School of Nursing leadership stakeholders committed to the mentoring program, recognizing the resources required to support development, implementation, and alignment of the program to the strategic plan. The planned change to develop a comprehensive mentoring program was faculty-led, with an overarching goal of creating a culture and environment that was sensitive to the learning and developmental needs of the novice faculty, considered the time and work demands placed on experienced faculty serving as mentors, and was guided by faculty mentoring best practices.

Method: The program design and development occurred during a summer academic break with six faculty members recruited as mentoring champions; these faculty members formed the nucleus of the mentoring team with delineated program roles and responsibilities established at the beginning of the program development. Guided by best practices and current research evidence, the team collaborated with Sigma Theta Tau (STTI) utilizing mentoring guidelines developed by STTI that provided a comprehensive framework for the program. The program included an all-day orientation where new faculty mentees were partnered with two mentoring team members. Mentors/mentee partnerships were determined based on similar professional backgrounds, scholarship interests, and teaching experience. A mentoring contract was developed in the first mentor meeting to identify short-term and long-term mentee goals, expectations, meeting schedules, and mutually symbiotic outcomes. To determine new faculty’s self-efficacy and knowledge in clinical teaching, a needs assessment was conducted prior to the start of their employment. After analyzing the results, a four module online continuing education program was developed titled “The Essentials for New Nurse Educators: Tools, Strategies, and Concepts” which was mandatory for completion within the first six weeks of the semester. Monthly meetings were conducted with all mentors and mentees where School of Nursing and University experts provided granular discussion on key teaching, promotion, and student engagement processes. Individual mentee/mentor triads established meeting times based on mentee needs and requests.

Participants/Sample: A qualitative approach will be used to evaluate the mentee’s perspective of their mentoring experience and successful transition into their new faculty role. Qualitative surveys will be developed and distributed and a focus group with mentees will be conducted after the first year of the program. Initial monthly feedback from new faculty suggests that they found the network mentoring model to be critical in recognizing the significance and value of collaboration and synergy between new and experienced faculty. Providing a deep sense of community, civility, and respect enhanced new faculty self-efficacy and empowerment. They expressed a feeling of safety and acceptance as they navigate the complexity of an academic role.

Historically the School of Nursing has been devoid of a formal mentoring or educational program for new faculty to prepare, guide, and support them in their role. Nursing faculty face complex situations requiring evidenced-based educational and evaluative strategies. Without foundational nurse educator knowledge, skills, and collegial support, new nursing faculty report increased stress, isolation, and role dissatisfaction (Slimmer, 2012). The network mentoring program used insightful program planning to assure efficiency, effectiveness, and time sensitivity to the work demands on both the mentors and mentees. This best practice approach increases the viability and sustainability of the mentoring program to support further program growth.