The Road to Providing Quality Care: Orientation and Mentorship for New Graduate Nurses

Mabel Hunsberger, Andrea Baumann, Mary Crea-Arsenio

Abstract


Clinical work demands can overwhelm new graduate nurses (NGNs) and cause significant stress as they begin practice in their first place of employment. The authors examine the impact of a government-supported extended orientation and mentorship program intended to facilitate the transition of NGNs to professional practice. A longitudinal trend study was conducted over 3 years of the program (2008, 2009, and 2010). In each year, 1 third of surveyed NGNs and over 3 quarters of surveyed employers responded. The researchers conducted 21 focus groups with 106 health-care organizations, 53 interviews with NGNs, and 15 interviews with nurse mentors from the frontline staff. The findings indicate that the program is instrumental in developing NGNs' ability to practise independently. Mentorship increased the NGNs' confidence and allowed them to make clinical decisions in a safe, protected environment. The program provided vital support and helped NGNs move from students to practising nurses.

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