Should Mentor Programs Be Extended to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses?

img1When I started my nursing career, our unit had a mentor program, and my mentor was a lifesaver! You had a preceptor and then you had a separate mentor you could go to. This mentor was there to be a separate person to provide support and advice (in and out of the hospital). Starting out in a Cardiac ICU was very stressful and full of anxiety so it was nice to have that person to go to, to provide reassurance and support.

Should this little “perk” extend to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)? Um, yeah! When I graduate, having any type of mentor would be GOLD for this new APRN! Some could argue that APRNs wouldn’t necessarily need a mentor because they are already an experienced nurse so therefore, they already know how to deal with the stress of patient care. They already know how to approach patients, organize their day, and juggle life in and out of the hospital. While some of this can be true, APRNs need mentors just as much as new nurses do, especially new APRN.

When you begin your career as an APRN, you’re essentially starting over. You have new stresses, new responsibilities and you have to rethink and reorganize because you’re in a new role now that you are unfamiliar with. You need just as much guidance (if not more) as a graduate nurse. Sadly, in a lot of hospitals there is no opportunity for such a type of program for APRNs. You go and do an orientation for a couple weeks with a preceptor and then you’re on your own, having to figure things out. Sure you may make a friend that can help you and hopefully, they’ve been there awhile to help further guide you. But, this doesn’t always happen and from what I’ve observed and heard, you’re left trying to figure things out on your own. Hopefully when I graduate in a year I will work at a hospital that either has this type of “perk” in place or I find someone with more experience, who is willing to be a friend and guide, not just a preceptor.

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9 responses to “Should Mentor Programs Be Extended to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses?

  1. Pingback: Blog Carnival! Mentoring in the Nursing Profession - Straight A Nursing StudentStraight A Nursing Student·

  2. I think this is such a GREAT idea! When you graduate with a new degree, you often move into new roles. Which with that comes new skills, new challenges, and new people.

    In addition, many APRN’s find themselves in a brand new space of entrepreneurship as they start up their own practice. There’s an article I wrote for Health Careers that might be helpful for some APRN’s as they navigate this new territory: http://healthecareers.com/article/career/nurse-practitioners-turned-entrepreneurs-practical-strategies-to-starting-your-business

    Great post; having a mentor always helps! Sharing this with my audience, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a nurse practitioner and nurse practitioner program faculty member….I couldn’t agree more!!!

    I wish I had a mentor when I started out as a PNP.
    So many of my NP students could benefit as well.

    It’s a new role with so many new challenges….. how can we make this happen?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not exactly sure but I’m thinking that once I graduate and start my job in my new role, I will offer to be there as a mentor for others in the future and may suggest starting a mentor program for APRNs.

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  4. I believe mentor programs should be extended to Advanced Practice Nurses. Mentoring is vital in every field. As an online writer, you could begin a group for nurses in your field. You may find that there are many nurses with the same need, and other Advanced Practice nurses who are willing to become mentors.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In my estimation, unless you’re moving on to a role in which you’re already experienced, a mentor is a strong plus. If you don’t need a mentor, then I must ask: are you really moving forward to a new role? Docs graduate with far more schooling than APRNs, yet all recognize they require years of formal training to become safe, effective, independent professionals. Nurses need to recognize the same, or APRNs will never reach their full potential as a group.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we must distinguish the fact when the nurse is in advanced training or is in service integration ! Are diferentes situations .The problem lies in the institutions. They do not allow periods for integration in services. When we have a mentor in the integration period, the knowledge of the service and autonomy interventions is more faster .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I agree this is a wonderful idea to have continued mentoring throughout our careers as nurses. I had a mentor and preceptor like you mentioned when I was a new nurse. And now as I transition to a leadership role I am in an “Emerging Leader” cohort in my organization and we have been assigned a leadership mentor. It has been wonderful. Since this is such a different transition it is great that my organization realizes we don’t each need to “reinvent the wheel” and we can learn from each other as we progress through our profession as nurses!

    Liked by 1 person

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