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Use Mentors as a Nurse Retention Tool

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, February 21st, 2013

Mentors are critical in helping young nurse faculty meet the demands of work and family. Mentors play a key role in enabling their success. They show mentees how to find resources, help them write grant applications, publish scholarly articles, and refine research goals. They also help with life outside the classroom, offering advice about career advancement and work-life balance. Overall, mentors are a great nurse retention tool.

Angela McBride, PhD, RN, FAAN, chair of the National Advisory Committee of the RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholars (NFS) program, wrote the book on the value of mentoring in nursing. The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders serves as a “literary mentor” for aspiring nurse leaders.

Mentoring is an ongoing, collaborative relationship between two individuals. The senior partner helps the less-experienced individual grow in his or her field, and benefits from the satisfaction of helping a younger colleague.

It’s not just mentors and mentees who benefit, however. The entire profession does, as well as patients and their families, too, according to a report on the future of nursing released by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2010. Mentoring, the report found, is a good way to strengthen the nursing workforce and improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Mentoring also helps health care organizations and academic institutions retain nurses and nurse educators, which can curb a shortage of nurses and faculty. About one in five nurses will leave their jobs within the first year, and more than one in two will leave within seven years, according to the RN Work Project, a national study of new nurses funded by RWJF.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, check out my new SelfCare for HealthCare program. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

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