The Shortage Of Nurses Nursing Essay

These turnover rates are alarming and research suggests that there is no one correct point of intervention. Cowden and Cummings (2012) suggest that a causal linkage has been consistently reported in the research from employee job satisfaction to thoughts of withdrawal to eventually staff turnover. The entry into negative workplace environments, along with the global nursing shortage, which is projected to become worse (Latham, Ringl & Hogan, 2011), may have dire consequences for health care systems. Salt, Cummings and Profetto-McGrath (2008) found that hospitals which offered a mentorship program to respond to the needs of their new nurses had the highest retention rates. Programs of transitional support for newly registered nurses are becoming recognized nationally and internationally as a necessity for employers. Successful transition programs help to create a culture of support through professional teamwork which ultimately contributes to cost savings acquired through better retention, improved safety and quality of care, as well as ongoing growth of nurses as leaders of the future (as cited in Dyess & Parker, 2012; Latham, Ringl & Hogan, 2011; McCloughen & O’Brien, 2005).

There is significant research through a range of professions in which mentorship has been identified over time as an effective approach to support the novice’s transition into professional roles. Mentorship is considered a useful strategy for bringing new nurses into the system, as well as retaining and supporting them in delivering high quality care (McCloughen & O’Brien, 2005). It is suggested by Cherry (2002) that mentorship is the key to the survival of nursing and that it must be embraced if the profession is to advance. Mentorship is described as a process of sharing experience with and providing advice to those who have less experience rather than forcing them to go at it alone (Prevosto, 2001). A nurse mentor id defined as a supportive professional frontline nurse who coaches, guides, counsels and facilitates a mentees success (Latham, Ringl, & Hogan, 2011). New nurses have expressed their need for support in this transition reporting feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and in need of encouragement and guidance through the traumatic and stress-provoking change from student to registered nurse (McCloughen & O’Brien, 2005). A successful mentorship program needs to go beyond just sharing knowledge and expertise. In order to be successful in retaining nursing, the program should facilitate learning and skill acquisition in a flexible, supportive and mutual-respectful environment which encourages new nurses to build skills, confidence in their new role, as well as sense of value and identity within the nursing profession (Cleary, Matheson & Happell, 2009).

The value of mentorship in providing strong support in clinical settings is characteristic of all nursing situations, including mental health. Cleary and Happell (2005) suggest that specific characteristics of mental health settings render the need for high-quality clinical support to be even greater. Cowman, Farrelly & Gilheany (2001) support this notion and describe the working environment within mental health settings as very different from general nursing areas. They believe there is less structure with a reduced amount of focus on physical tasks, a greater degree of professional autonomy and more emphasis is placed on a multidisciplinary team approach to care which makes a mentorship program all the more valuable. Humpel and Caputi (2001) present that the characteristics of new nurses working in mental health make them more likely to quit because nurses with less than two years nursing experience process a lack of emotional competency and reduced ability to cope with work related stress . The shortage of nursing staff with in mental health is a crisis with far-reaching effects. Not the least of which is the impact on the quality of care provided to patients. As long as health services continue to treat the same numbers of people with insufficient numbers of nurses, patient care will be compromised (McCloughlin & O’Brien, 2005).

There have been very few studies done, which address the idea of mentorship specifically to psychiatric nursing settings, with the bulk of this research coming from Australia. Despite similar challenges currently being faced in the UK, USA and Canada not have successfully address the problem of recruiting and retaining new nurses in mental health settings (Procter et al., 2011) , attempting to generalize the data from the studies that are published to Canadian practice is difficult because of the international differences in approaches to education of the psychiatric nurse. Therefore Canada needs to obtain research as to the effectiveness of a mentorship program for newly registered psychiatric nurses in increasing recruitment and retainment of a variety of mental health, employment settings.

McCloughlin O’Brien (2005) have developed a model on which to basis the mentorship program as it appears to be the most comprehensive guide to creating an initiative specifically aimed at psychiatric nurses and their needs. They have emphasized the mentoring process, differentiating it from supervision as providing an environment where new nurses can critically reflect, plan and adapt. This model has been considered a bridge program Proctor et al. (2011), in that it facilitates new graduated, moved from a preceptor to orientation phase to an area of more intensive clinical guidance and socialization.

This program needs to be standardized throughout each area as it is implemented to ensure results are generalizable to all new graduated psychiatric nurses and employers. In order to maximize generalization. It is to be implemented not only in hospitals, but community mental health services and all establishments which employ psychiatric nurses. It also needs to be modified and agreed upon with input from the Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Canada, as well as members from the educational institutions and universities were undergraduate psychiatric nurses are obtaining their education.

Cowin’s (2001) . Nurses Self-Concept Questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool to measure dimensions of nurses general self concept, caring staff relations, communication, knowledge and leadership. These items with their respective questions are scored on an eight point like what scale ranging from definitely false to definitely true. This tool has been shown to have comprehensive theoretical foundations linked to strong psychometric properties with Krohn box alphas ranging from 0.82 to 0.95. This questionnaire would be a useful self-report tool to measure job satisfaction and the impact that the mentorship program has on the new graduate nurses positive work environment.

The purpose of this study is to examine whether the utilization of mentorship programs in establishments were psychiatric nurses are employed in Canada decreases the turnover rate of newly graduated psychiatric nurses. Research questions include: 1) will new graduate nurses who are part of a mentorship program still be employed at the establishment. After three months, six months, one year and two years, and; 2) will new graduate psychiatric nurses involved in a mentorship program report a more positive experience of the work environment is evident on the Nurses Self-Concept Questionnaire than new graduate psychiatric nurses who are not part of mentorship program.