An Innovative Approach to Mentoring Newly Hired Nurse 2015 Educators

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Newly hired nurse educators face multiple challenges in today's rapidly changing academic environment. Transitioning from clinical practice into academia without the benefit of effective mentoring may lead to dissatisfaction, frustration, and attrition. Newly hired nurse educators may find difficulty in understanding academic areas of teaching, scholarship, and service, especially if they are transitioning from clinical practice. An effective mentoring program for nurse educators provides guidance, support, resources and assistance, as well as an opportunity for experienced faculty mentoring team members to guide newly hired nurse educators through the complex world of academia. The purpose of this project was to create a sustainable mentoring program to promote successful assimilation of newly hired nurse educators into the academic environment. Methods: The method was a Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) project to create an effective mentoring program for newly hired nurse educators. The project leader (scholar) guided the Faculty Mentoring Program Committee (FMPC) through the creation and progression of the faculty-mentoring program. The triad that consisted of the scholar Greta Marek, DNP, RN, CNE, her mentor M. Peggy Hays, DSN, RN, COI, and faculty Cynthia Clark, PhD, RN, ANEF, FAAN regularly discussed the project's progress. The Experienced Nurse Faculty Leadership Academy (ENFLA), sponsored by Sigma Theta Tau International/Chamberlain College of Nursing Center for Excellence in Nursing Education, provided an evidence-based program that encouraged learning and growth for the scholar. A review of the literature included searches in PubMed, CINAHL, ERIC, Ovid, Google Scholar and EBSCHO host using the search terms: academic mentoring, nursing faculty mentoring, mentoring programs, nurse educator mentoring. Limitations placed on the search were English language, peer reviewed, and a timeframe of 2000 to the present. Scholar reviewed 29 full-text articles and 20 university websites; used Watson's Theory of Human Caring and Benner's Novice to Expert models in relation to nurse educator mentoring programs. The scholar formed the FMPC at their college of nursing secondary to the need to develop a formalized faculty-mentoring program. Information from the literature review guided planning, actions and recommendations from the committee. Results: The ENFLA scholar endeavors to continue to work with the FMPC towards the mentoring program's growth and sustainability. The committee developed the program's mission, vision, goals, outcomes, logo, and a semester-by-semester structure. The FMPC created two different tracks for newly hired nurse educators: a three-semester program for experienced nurse educators and a five-semester program for novice nurse educators. The first semester of each track focuses on orientation to the university, the college, and assigned courses. Newly hired nurse educators remain a cohort, instead of the traditional dyad mentoring model. Experienced nurse educators serve as a resource person and share their expertise in teaching, scholarship, or service. The goal of remaining in a cohort would be to help newly hired nurse educators develop team-building skills, enhance collegiality, provide support, adapt to the local culture, and provide consistency. The new nursing faculty, hired during the 2014-2015 academic year, serendipitously decided to form an ad hoc committee to the FMPC, to ensure input. The ad hoc committee will collaborate with the FMPC to determine the mentoring program's effectiveness each semester through formative and summative evaluations. Conclusion: Members of the FMPC expressed a sense of renewed purpose and pride while collaborating on creating a sustainable mentoring program. Ad hoc committee members expressed optimism and excitement about working with the FMPC towards evaluating the mentoring program's effectiveness.


Las Vegas, NV