College of Nursing
Problem Statement: New Graduate Nurses (NGN) report increased stress, likely due to decreased confidence and social support (Frogeli et al., 2019). The most current NGNs are disadvantaged as much of their undergraduate clinical experience has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (Smith et al., 2021). At the end of their residency, information gathered from former NGNs suggested they feel they need "more support" during the residency. Purpose: The purpose of this quality improvement project was to determine if the addition of a peer mentor to the already existing nurse residency program would improve nurse confidence, job satisfaction, and intent to stay among newly graduated nurses at a 557-bed acute care facility in central South Carolina. This project aimed to develop supportive and nurturing relationships between new graduate nurses hired into a nurse residency program and nurses with one to two years of nursing experience and recent graduates of the same nurse residency program. Quantitative and qualitative research has demonstrated the connection made with a slightly more experienced nurse who shares similar new nurse experiences can help ease the transition to practice for an NGN (Johnson, J. et al., 2019; Van Patten, R.R. et al., 2019). In addition, these peer mentors help to guide NGNs in their professional, personal, and interpersonal growth. As NGNs become more confident, their competency in nursing skills and critical thinking will improve (Ulriich et al., 2010). Methods: A modified version of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) Mentoring Program was incorporated into the already existing nurse residency program. Three measures from the AMSN toolkit were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program: (a) the Intent-to-Stay survey, (b) the Job Satisfaction Scale, and (c) the New Nurse Confidence Scale AMSN, 2012). Mentees were recruited from NGNs in the Winter 2022 nurse residency program. The project was implemented over twelve weeks at a 557-bed acute care facility in central South Carolina. Participation was open to any NGN within the Winter 2022 cohort of the residency program who wished to be paired with a mentor. An appropriate mentor was a previous graduate of the nurse residency with one to two years of experience who could relate to starting their career in the current healthcare climate. The nurse residency coordinator identified mentors based on willingness/interest, interpersonal skills, availability, and compatibility. Both NGN and peer mentor understood participation in the program was strictly voluntary. Analysis: Data analysis and descriptive statistics included comparing results of the Intent-to-Stay survey, the Job Satisfaction Scale, and the New Nurse Confidence Scale from participants in this project (AMSN Mentoring Program) to the same surveys given NGNs who participated in the traditional nurse residency program. Results The initial Confidence Scale for New Nurses scores were higher in the comparison group without a mentor and the post-program scores were higher in the group with a peer mentor. The group with peer mentors also saw a significant increase in confidence scores over the twelve weeks from a mean of 2.44 to 3.43. The comparison group showed a decrease in overall confidence scores from a mean of 3.26 to 2.97 for twelve weeks. The overall mean scores for the Job Satisfaction Scale and the Intent to Stay Survey were slightly higher in the NGNs paired with a peer mentor group. Implication for Practice: Developing supportive relationships in a formal mentorship program early in a nurse's career can affect their intent to stay, stress level, and ultimately patient care.
Bowers, Teresa Biediger, "Establishing a New Graduate Nurse Peer Mentoring Program" (2022). Doctor of Nursing Practice Scholarly Projects. 7.