Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Joan Jeannette, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE

Joan Jeannette
  • Committee Chair Name & Credentials:
    Debra Arnow, DNP, RN, NEA-BC


DNP Project Abstract

Can Mentoring Make a Difference for New Nurse Graduates?

The purpose of this project was to implement a formal mentoring program for new nurse graduates working on general medical/surgical units. The goal was to improve nurse graduate satisfaction by assigning a mentor during their transition into professional practice. The assigned mentors met regularly with the new nurse graduate for six (6) months post implementation of the mentorship program.

The Model for Improvement provided the structure of identifying the gap in the transition of new graduate nurses to practice. Using the Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycle, the new graduate nurses were surveyed to assess the benefit of a mentoring program.

The Casey Fink Graduate Nurse Experience survey was given pre- and post- implementation and were analyzed in three different categories utilizing nurse residents on medical/surgical units of Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital, Nashville Tennessee. Fifteen nurse residents were part of this study and were matched with mentors during a six-month period immediately after completing their initial orientation. Analysis was performed regarding survey participation and improvement in three categories related to nurse satisfaction; support, communication/leadership and professional satisfaction.

Survey participation pre-implementation was low (n=3) while post-implementation was higher (n=7).

  • Results in support were 3.6 (range of 1-4) for pre-implementation and 2.8 post-implementation.
  • Results in communication/leadership were 3.3 (range of 1-4) for pre-implementation and 2.7 post-implementation.
  • Results for professional satisfaction were equal at 2.6 pre- and post-implementation.

Two of the three categories had a decrease while professional satisfaction was equal pre- and post-implementation. Comments from mentors and mentees were extremely positive and supportive of the program. Challenges identified during the mentorship program for the new nurses were related to the scheduling differences of the mentors and the mentees, which made it difficult to meet.

Implications for Practice
Participants in the project shared positive comments about the mentorship program and offered reccomendations for the future.


  1. The schedules of mentors and mentees would need to be aligned to create ways for the pairs to connect productively.
  2. The mentees would benefit from choosing their mentor and the scheduled times to meet.
  3. There could also be a structured pairing of mentees and mentors.
  4. There could be follow-up for those participants that are not engaged in the program and assess their needs.

There are also opportunities to assess a mentoring program in other specialty services.