1. Parreira, Jennifer MS, RN, ARNP

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The purpose of The Mentoring Program at Providence Health: Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System was to facilitate the recruitment of new nurses and the retention of experienced nurses.



The Mentor Program was established to fulfill our system-wide initiative of increased recruitment and retention. The high turnover rate of new graduate nurses and the nursing shortage support the need for a Mentoring Program. Goals of the Mentor Program are to facilitate the transition of nurses to their new positions, promote career development, and provide a rewarding experience for both the mentor and the new nurse.



The program was implemented in January 2007 with 8 new graduates. The first mentors were found through director and supervisor recommendations. An information class to present the program was provided to all potential mentors. From the potential mentors, those interested were asked to participate as volunteers.



For the first year, mentors were provided to new graduates only. Starting in 2008, the program is offered to all nurses new to the hospitals. An e-mail address, the Mentor Connection, was implemented to facilitate communication and organization of mentor/mentee relationships. A Mentor Directory was established that provides pictures of mentors, departments they work in, and personal profile/descriptions and indicates number of mentees they can support. The Mentor Directory and Mentor Program Description are located on a shared drive on the hospital computer network for all staff to access.



The program coordinator maintains the Mentor Connection e-mail. All mentors also earn points to use toward their Excellence in Nursing Reward Program.



The intended outcome for the new graduate nurses is to retain them with the organization for a greater timeframe. The intended outcome for the more experienced nurses is to decrease their dissatisfaction with the nursing profession through sharing of knowledge and guidance.


Implications for Practice:

The program will also be used as a recruiting tool. The true impact of the Mentoring Program will be seen over time and will be evaluated on a regular basis to ensure its success.


Section Description

The 2009 NACNS National Conference will be held in St Louis, Missouri, on March 5 to 7. More than 350 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are registered. This year's theme, "Clinical Nurse Specialists: Vision, Value, Voice," demonstrates the essential leadership skills of the CNS as well as the CNS role in implementing evidence-based practice.


Seventy abstracts were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in 3 practice domains (spheres of influence), emphasizing patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into 3 spheres of influence-patients, nursing practice, organization/system-including the development of clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, CNS practice in end-of-life care decisions, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNSs' contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, communities, as well as to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts were published here to facilitate sharing this emerging new knowledge with those who were unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics. Watch out for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at NACNS' next annual conference in Portland, Oregon, on March 4 to 6, 2010.