Secondary Logo

Journal Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Changing Tides: Improving Outcomes Through Mentorship on All Levels of Nursing

Race, Tara Kay MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN; Skees, Janet DNP, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/CNQ.0b013e3181d91475

Critical care nursing is one of the most stressful specialties in the nursing profession. The demands of the specialty can lead to frustration and burnout at very high rates. High-quality, effective mentorship can be a valuable tool in recruiting and retaining nurses for these areas as well as improving their sense of job satisfaction. However, it must be understood that effective mentorship begins with the organizational culture and must have organizational buy-in to be successful. Also, because of the nursing shortage and high turnover in the critical care units, new graduates are frequently hired into these areas. Mentorship for these new nurses is crucial to their success and retention as a new employee. If we do not foster growth and development of young nurses, they may flounder, become extremely frustrated, and seek out new alternative employment settings. Mentoring new graduates may begin as early as their first exposure to critical care nursing in their undergraduate nursing program as it did for this author (T.K.R.). My critical care nurse faculty is the reason I entered critical care nursing and is now the reason that I have branched into education. The information in this article is not only pertinent to those working in critical care; it can be utilized and explored on all levels of nursing. Through effective mentorship, we can positively impact our healthcare organizations; improve job satisfaction; and promote professional development and empowerment in students, new graduates, staff nurses, educators, nurse leaders, and nurse faculty. Most importantly, mentoring can result in improved nursing care, high-quality healthcare, and improved patient outcomes.

Heritage Valley Sewickley School of Nursing, Heritage Valley Health System, Moon Township (Ms Race and Dr Skees), University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh (Ms Race), and Waynesburg University, Seven Fields (Dr Skees), Pennsylvania.

Corresponding Author: Tara Kay Race, MSN, RN, CNS, CCRN, Heritage Valley Sewickley School of Nursing, Heritage Valley Health System, 420 Rouser Rd, Airport Office Park, Bldg 3, Ste 1, Moon Township, PA 15108 (

The authors have no conflict of interest.

For more than 26 additional continuing education articles related to education, go to

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.