1. Fox, Isadora DNP, APRN, MSN, PMHNP-BC (PsychMental Health Nurse Practitioner)


Background: A volume of literature reflects that mentorship is key in producing quality nurse practitioners. Mentoring leads to increased confidence, role clarity, and other benefits improving practice. However, there is little to no research focusing specifically on the impact of mentoring in psychiatric nurse mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNPs).


Purpose: To explore process of acquiring mentorship and mentoring experiences of newly graduated PMHNPs, all of whom obtained their respective degrees partially or completely online. The study also seeks to describe perceptions of mentoring in PMHNP leaders.


Methods: Nine new graduate PMHNPs and 10 PMHNP leaders were recruited from membership rosters of professional organizations in the Southwestern United States. Informants participated in semi-structured interviews with questions sourced from an interview guide. Interviews were conducted via videoconference or telephone from informants' homes. Data were coded via an in vivo approach and analyzed by thematic methods.


Results: New graduates reported that mentoring was dependent on four themes: connectivity, educational stewardship, practice confidence, and luck. Mentor access via work, institutions, or schools was inconsistent. Leaders were concerned about limited educational and professional investment in mentorship because this process is an important component of professional development.


Conclusion: Mentorship for new graduates is based on a variety of factors, some of which are out of their control. Lack of mentoring may affect practice, which affects patient care. Dialogue between educators, professionals, and organizations may improve mentoring stewardship.


Implications: Enhanced communication between educational institutions and professional organizations to create a more fluid process from graduate to mentorship is needed.