Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
Using a staff development approach, this doctor of nursing practice project addressed the preparation of nurses who serve in the role of mentors. Developed and carried out in an American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet-designated hospital, the primary aim of the project was to develop and implement a staff education program for mentors focusing on best-practice strategies for mentoring new nurses. The secondary purpose was to conduct a literature review on evidence-based practice strategies for mentoring new nurses. This project was guided by Knowles' adult learning theory and Benner's novice to expert model. A 2-hour education program was attended by 16 registered nurses, including 2 assistant nurse managers, 12 clinical nurses, and 2 unit-educators. A program evaluation was completed showing 2 RNs indicating interest in initiating a unit-based mentorship program. Two nursing units reported current mentorship programs already in place. Evaluation results were summarized and reported to the education council chair. Improvements in knowledge scores on mentorship was ascertained from the results of a posttest that were higher (average score of 83.125%) than the scores noted on the pretest (average score of 70%). Potential implications of the project include improving the morale of mentors who would be well equipped through organized mentorship education programs with tools for preparing, training, and developing new nurses. The findings of this project have the potential to positively influence social change by assisting in achieving higher nurse retention rates leading to improved patient outcomes.