May 10, 2023

How mentors help nurses transition to advanced practice roles

Editor's Note

This article by nurse researchers at Washington University in St Louis and University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, shows how mentorship can positively affect role transitioning from an experienced RN to a novice acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP) in a cardiothoracic ICU.

The authors note the differences between preceptors, who focus on helping nurses acquire specific knowledge or skills during orientation, and mentors, who provide emotional support, encouragement, and guidance to help with anxiety and imposter syndrome (ie, not experiencing success internally despite being high-performing externally).

They discuss the phases of mentorship, including the conceptual phase, response phase, and coaching phase as well as how the mentor helps the novice ACNP develop self-efficacy and improve organization and preparedness.

It is essential for hospitals to understand the role transition of novice ACNPs, the authors conclude. Clinical knowledge alone is not enough to prepare them to enter an already complex healthcare system. Mentors are essential for the successful transition of the novice ACNP into a team of highly trained and skilled providers.

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