Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Nurses comprise the largest segment of the healthcare workforce. Adequate numbers of
nurses help to ensure sufficient and safe nursing care in all settings. The current nursing shortage poses a barrier to optimum nursing care, and the nature of recruitment and retention of nurses has generated research interest because of its association with the labor shortage. The purpose of the project was to develop a nurse mentorship program for possible adoption by a northern state correctional facility. Goals are to aid recruitment and improve retention of nurses in the facility. This quality improvement project was informed by Jean Watson's theory of transpersonal caring. Program development was guided by a team of interdisciplinary stakeholders in the institution, including a nurse educator, institutional directors of both education and nursing departments, and senior staff nurses who agreed agreeing to function as project coordinators. The peer-reviewed literature and institutional contexts informed program conceptualization and planning for implementation and planning. A series of meetings were held in which the project team explored and discussed available evidence relative to institutional context and needs. The primary product of the project was a mentoring program, and secondary products include plans for implementation and evaluation of that program by the institution in the future as part of a broader institutional initiative. The developed program was shared with 5 nurse scholars with relevant expertise as a content validation process, with revisions made in accordance with feedback. The implementation and evaluation plans include all details necessary for operationalizing as well as evaluating merit and worth of the program over time.