Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary A. Ramirez


In a Level II trauma center, experienced nurses are retiring from nursing positions, which is causing an unstable workforce. According to the literature, there are not enough experienced nurses to mentor the new nurses. Evidence suggests that experienced nurses are associated with improved patient outcomes and that experienced nurse mentors can improve the work environment for less experienced nurses. Focusing on Watson's theoretical framework of caring and Covell's theoretical framework of intellectual capital, this phenomenological study explored the lived experiences of a small group of nurses. Five nurses with 15 years of experience and who had served as mentors were selected for in-depth individual interviews. Open coding and thematic analysis were used to analyze the data, and 5 themes emerged: lengthening work shifts and related effects, increasing workload and responsibilities due to higher patient acuity, learning new technologies, mentoring with a decreased patient ratio, and surveying customers as the main focus of patient care. The results of this study guided the development of a proposal for a computer-based learning module on nurse mentoring. The module explains what mentoring is, the importance of mentoring, and proper ways to mentor. Implications for positive social change include retaining intellectual capital in an organization through mentoring positions for experienced nurses.

Included in

Nursing Commons