Mentoring in PICU

  1. Our staff has turned over 50% in the last 2 years. We have 6 nurses who have more than 5 years of PICU experience. The other 14 have less than 2. We are considering starting a mentoring program in our unit. Does anyone out there have one in place? If so, how does it work? and how long is it? With budget constraints, we cannot offer additional money to our mentors, but do you have ideas for recognition? I would appreciate feedback. Also, if you have been mentored how do view the experience?
    Thanks Lori A. PICU Nurse Educator
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    About LoriA

    Joined: Sep '04; Posts: 7

    2 Comments

  3. by   GulfCoastGal
    If your turnover rate is that high, I would focus on more than developing a mentoring program. Why are so many of your nurses leaving? Discovering the answer to this could help you develop an approach that included mentoring/precepting as well as other solutions to problems. I know some factors are not in a unit's control usually (pay, hospital policies, physicians who are hard to work with, etc), but mentoring would be a good start.
    We have a 12 week mentoring program for new hires. It includes evaluations of the mentor and the new RN. It also includes weekly classes on unit spcific care for PICU nursing. The PICU nurses teach the classes as well (they volunteer their time). At the end of the 12 weeks, the manager and the director of the PICU have a feedback session on what was good/bad about the 12 weeks, ideas for improvement, etc.
    The unit educator is in charge of this program, and their are tests, evals, and return demonstration requirements.
    Also, are mentors are compensated, ($1,000 I believe if the new nurse stays full time at least one year). The new nurse also has regular evals with the mentor through the first year to discuss problems, share feelings, ask questions. The mentor is supposed to be a resource for the new nurse, available at any time.
    Hope this helps you.
  4. by   wendyw2
    Hi from Australia,
    A mentor is really someone that the learner choses. A preceptor is someone that you chose for them. Our nurses all have 2 preceptors. We work on the buddy system and the learning nurse agrees to work shifts with their preceptor. Preceptors are chosen with a supportive relationship in mind. If you know that they are not going to get on, it won't work.They are allocated in close proximity to one another. I assume there is a supernummerary period prior to taking patients solo and this is where the relationship unfolds. We also have a New Staff support group every week where they take their gossips and grumbles and we try to act on any issues. All new staff are offered a 3 professional development days over a 6 month period. The expert nurses, nurse educators and doctors do lectures on things such as haemodynamic monitoring etc. Also all nurses get 4 hours study time a month.

    The other thing we do is poach from other areas by offering a 6 month rotation. Hopefully if we give the poached nurses enough support, they will stay.
    I hope this helps.
    Cheers

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