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career development, leadership development, mentoring, nursing, professional development, virtual mentoring



  1. Hewlett, Peggy O'Neill PhD, RN, FNAP, FAAN
  2. Santolla, Jan MS, BSN, RN
  3. Persaud, Sabita Devi PhD, RN, PHNA-BC


ABSTRACT: Nursing leaders continue to struggle with capacity issues in both clinical and academic settings-particularly those related to aging patient and nurse populations and the increasing complexity of health care in general. Programs and resources for formal mentoring have primarily focused on mid- and advanced-career RNs, but there is an imperative to develop methods of expertly mentoring "professionally younger" RNs across all settings and roles. In 2017, the American Nurses Association (ANA) conducted an extensive member needs assessment with more than 15,000 respondents. Three distinct career-stage categories were identified: early-career nurses, up-and-comers, and nursing leaders. The early-career nurses and up-and-comers listed "being mentored" among their top two member benefit requests. In response, the ANA launched a national virtual mentorship program in September 2018. The program aligned with criteria, recommendations, and charges from the American Nurses Credentialing Center's 2019 Magnet Recognition Program; the landmark 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health; and a 2019 IOM consensus study, The Future of Nursing 2020-2030. This article provides a general overview of the program, including evaluation and modifications, and discusses implications of using the ANA's career-stage categories in virtual mentoring.