As a newly graduated nurse, starting a career in the healthcare industry can be a daunting experience. With high levels of stress, long hours, and the pressure to provide quality care to patients, it’s crucial for new nurses to have a supportive work environment to help them thrive.
A recent study conducted by the American Nurses Association found that nurses who feel empowered and supported in their workplace experience improved job satisfaction, reduced stress levels, and are more likely to remain in the profession.
One way to empower new nurses is through the implementation of a quality, 3rd party mentorship program. Mentorship programs provide new nurses with an experienced nurse who acts as a mentor and offers guidance, support, and resources to help them navigate the challenges of the job. Mentors can help new nurses develop their skills, build confidence, and find their place in the workplace.
There are many benefits of having a 3rd party act as mentor instead of an in-house mentor. Benefits for nurses include but are not limited to:
- Objective evaluation and advice
- Safe environment to share feelings, concerns, and experiences
- Promote a “Just Culture” that eliminates fear of what they share impacting their job
- Improve confidence in your abilities
- Increase satisfaction with your job
Although 3rd-party mentorship programs cost more up front to employers, they end up being more cost-effective in the long run because it:
- Provides desirable support and resources to new staff
- Increase staff satisfaction
- Decrease turnover
- Foster trust with your staff
- Attract quality nurses who desire work environments that prioritize them
Not All Mentorship Programs Are Created Equal
If mentors are not trained appropriately, lack the necessary mentorship skills, and cannot connect with the mentees, new grads will not receive the support they need to succeed. The key aspect to generating benefits is having a quality mentor who has experience walking new grad nurses through the transition period from student to professional.
Other Ways to Empower
In addition to mentorship programs, employers can empower new nurses by providing opportunities for professional development and growth, promoting work-life balance, and creating a culture of collaboration and teamwork. For example, offering continuing education courses, flexible schedules, and opportunities for cross-training can help new nurses feel valued and supported in their role.
American Nurses Association. (2020). The Importance of Empowering Nurses in the Workplace. https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/work-environment/empowerment/