Mentorship programs in hospitals

  1. Does anyone have mentorship programs that work in their hospitals??? Is it for student nurses, new RN grads, new RN employees ???? How is it set up and who runs the program???
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   MissdonditaBsn
    we don't have a mentorship program in our hospital, but we are trying to start one. I lead our Retention Team and that is one of the things that we are looking at to retain nurses. There was half an attempt made to start a mentorship program about a year ago, however, instead of using co-workers, the whole program was based around using administrators and nurse managers as mentors. There seemed to be no real rhyme or reason as to how mentors were assigned. They just wanted to assign those who were interested in having a mentor with those who were interested in being a mentor.
    We are now looking at starting a new program and using co-workers as mentors. The idea being that the staff nurses would have more of a vested interest in ensuring that the mentees do well (this would be seperated from preceptorship). We are hoping to develop a booklet that describes the interest of the mentors and would work together to ensure a good paring. This might mean paring nurses who work in completely different areas.

    We haven't worked out all of the details yet.
  4. by   2banurse
    Originally posted by MissdonditaBsn
    There was half an attempt made to start a mentorship program about a year ago, however, instead of using co-workers, the whole program was based around using administrators and nurse managers as mentors.
    Using administrators and NMs as mentors? I would figure that the best mentor would be one of the more experienced nurses on the staff WHO WANT TO BE MENTORS! I think that they would be the best teachers in the day to day of working as a staff nurse.

    JMHO,
    Kris
  5. by   llg
    We have one at my hospital. It is designed for new grads, but others with minimal experience may participate as well. The mentors are staff nurses who volunteer to be a "buddy" for approximately one year. They meet informally with their assigned protege to discuss cases, unit politics, etc.

    As it is a new program, we are paying the mentors $200 per month for pariticipating, but are having second thoughts about this as mentoring the next generation should be a responsibility of every professional. We question whether we should be paying people extra to "be nice to the new people." Shouldn't that just be an expected part of the job? After all, people with experience are higher on the pay scale than new grads. Anyway, at the moment, we are paying extra because it is one more way to reward senior staff members financially for doing something positive and to promote retention among them as well as the new grads. (We already pay differentials to preceptors and charge nurses and have a healthy retention bonus program.)

    It's too soon for us to tell whether or not it is really doing anyone any good -- although some units are reporting anecdotally that the people involved are reporting the relationships helpful.

    llg
  6. by   VickyRN
    llg wrote:
    As it is a new program, we are paying the mentors $200 per month for pariticipating, but are having second thoughts about this as mentoring the next generation should be a responsibility of every professional. We question whether we should be paying people extra to "be nice to the new people." Shouldn't that just be an expected part of the job? After all, people with experience are higher on the pay scale than new grads.
    llg, I really enjoy your contributions to the BB. I admire your professionalism and nursing wisdom; however with the above quote, I must respectfully disagree. In my humble opinion, the older, more experienced nurses SHOULD receive financial remuneration for their professional mentoring services. And, unfortunately, people with experience in nursing are often NOT SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER on the pay scale than new grads (a phenomenon known as wage compression ).
  7. by   llg
    Originally posted by VickyRN
    llg wrote:

    llg, I really enjoy your contributions to the BB. I admire your professionalism and nursing wisdom; however with the above quote, I must respectfully disagree. In my humble opinion, the older, more experienced nurses SHOULD receive financial remuneration for their professional mentoring services. And, unfortunately, people with experience in nursing are often NOT SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER on the pay scale than new grads (a phenomenon known as wage compression ).
    Thanks for the comments, VickyRN. As I said, we are "debating" this point now, not having come to a final decision. At the moment, we ARE paying them extra. We're just trying to decide where to draw the line, how much, etc. Most of the mentors admit that the mentoring is not taking up much of their time and that it is not nearly as stressful as precepting. However, the mentors are being paid more than the preceptors -- and that's raising some concerns. Yes, we could (and, I think, should) raise the preceptor differential, but what are the appropriate amounts? There really are no established standards for this.

    As for wage compression, it is not much of an issue at my hospital. Our pay scales are quite wide and it takes about 25 years for someone to reach the top. Also, in addition to the charge nurse & preceptor diffs and the mentor bonus -- we have a retention bonus that starts modestly after the first year, but increases steadily throughout a career, reaching a maximum of $10,000 per year after 25 years seniority.

    Our weakest area of compensation/benefits is in tuition reimbursement (minimal) and student loan repayment assistance (absent, except for the retention bonus money). As we try to find money to increase our benefits in this area, we have to ask ourselves some tough questions about which types of benefits to fund first. Which benefits are the highest priority -- and the most important to the most people? etc.

    llg
    Last edit by llg on Dec 20, '02
  8. by   lee1
    Originally posted by MissdonditaBsn
    we don't have a mentorship program in our hospital, but we are trying to start one. I lead our Retention Team and that is one of the things that we are looking at to retain nurses. There was half an attempt made to start a mentorship program about a year ago, however, instead of using co-workers, the whole program was based around using administrators and nurse managers as mentors. There seemed to be no real rhyme or reason as to how mentors were assigned. They just wanted to assign those who were interested in having a mentor with those who were interested in being a mentor.
    We are now looking at starting a new program and using co-workers as mentors. The idea being that the staff nurses would have more of a vested interest in ensuring that the mentees do well (this would be seperated from preceptorship). We are hoping to develop a booklet that describes the interest of the mentors and would work together to ensure a good paring. This might mean paring nurses who work in completely different areas.

    We haven't worked out all of the details yet.
    I am also on my hospital's R&R committee. I was also on the subcommittee of our Nurse Practices committee which was looking at many of the same issues but we were able to do a little more as our committee had been given $500,000 when our contract was negotiated. Now, we have rolled the R&R part together and have been meeting as such for the last few months. There is also a management steering committee which has the power to really do something but a great deal depends on the new contract we will negotiate this upcoming year. The biggest goals we have discussed so far are getting the Baylor program up and running ASAP after the contract is signed. Hopefully Retention bonuses. For now, mentoring program which hopefully includes new RN, new grad, new employees. The mentors are to be volunteer staff nurse employees. Hopefully they will get clinical ladder credit for this.

    Lee
  9. by   fergus51
    We had a similar program as llg's at the last hospital I worked at. They wound up decreasing the amount of money they were offering because they were getting some nurses who were becoming mentors just for the money, not because they wanted to help new RNs. We also started a buddy system for new foreign nurses. I buddied up with an Asian nurse and a bunch of us would get together to show the new nurses around town, have dinners and go out to try to help them feel welcome.

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