Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Marisa Wilson


Turnover of experienced nurses is a component of the nursing shortage, which has created a lack of expert nurses administering bedside care. The project site is a Chicago suburban hospital with an average first year turnover of experienced nurses at 35%. This rate is above the 27% first year turnover reported by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. This project focused on development and evaluation of an evidence-based mentorship program supported by theory that can contribute to an increase in experienced nurse retention. A detailed literature review references causative factors of turnover, such as an increasing workload, a multigenerational and aging workforce, and a lack of belonging as reasons for job dissatisfaction and separation of employment. These factors were also cited in exit interviews of nurses resigning from the project site. Synthesis of the literature suggests that an evidence-based, theory-supported, nurse mentorship program may decrease experienced nurse turnover and increase the longevity of the nurse providing bedside care. The social cognitive career theory and components of Zey's mutual benefits model were used in the design of the mentorship program to include the mentor, mentee, and culture of the organization. Program design and materials were evaluated by 10 experienced nurses. The program was approved by 100% of the formative panel and was recommended for summative review by the 4-member nurse executive council. The summative review resulted in a final approval to implement the program. Implementation of this project will create social change through empowerment of experienced nurses and by providing strong mentors for new nurses resulting in reduced turnover of both new and experienced nurses, increased job satisfaction, reduced replacement costs, and improved patient care.