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(Bryan College of Health Sciences, 2018-12) Baer, Nichole; Barker, Molle; Melcher, Candace R.
BACKGROUND: The nursing profession is plagued with a major nursing shortage due to the aging population of the nursing workforce, baby boomers and due to the increasing demands of the healthcare organizations. The turnover rate of new graduate nurses within the first year of employment only compounds this problem. Up to 50% of new graduate nurses change jobs during their initial year of employment, 13% contemplate leaving their job, and some leave the professional altogether (Boamah & Laschinger, 2015). Nurse residency programs (NRP) were found to decrease the 12 month turnover rate from 36% to 6.5% (Trepanier, Early, Ulrilich, & Cherry, 2012). In addition, the retention rate of new graduate nurses assigned to a mentor was 91% compared to non-mentored nurses with a retention rate of 66% (Schroyer, Zellers, & Abraham, 2016). PURPOSE: The purpose of this project was to focus on developing a toolkit to be utilized as a resource for implementing a formal mentor program to support the retention of new graduate nurses. The population of interest were new graduate nurses participating in the Nurse Residency Program at a Midwestern regional hospital. METHOD: Researchers reviewed literature that supports a formal mentor program. Based off of information obtained in the literature, the formal mentor program was developed. This proposal was then formally presented to key stakeholders, including the Chief Nursing Officer. RESULTS: After presenting the toolkit to the key stakeholders, dialogue took place that afforded the opportunity for further clarification and suggestions to take place. Recommendations from the stakeholders for various changes were made and notes were taken of their questions and recommendations. Key recommendations for strengthening the formal mentor program were: offer the mentor program to experienced nurses new to the organization as well as to the new graduate nurses; change the timing of the initiation of the program from 6 months to 12 months for the new graduate nurses; offer the formal mentor program to experienced nurses beginning just prior to their orientation ending; the mentor may need to be assigned to more than one mentee due to the volume of new hires or experienced nurses interested in participating in the program; the mentor/mentee would ideally be paired together from the same unit however if the volume of new hires outnumbered the qualified mentors, mentors from sister units could be assigned to the mentee. CONCLUSION: The results of the presentation of the formal mentor program to the key stakeholders was favorable. Additional collaboration to further develop the formal mentor program is necessary for further development and successful implementation.