209 - Mentorship Strategies to Nurture the Novice Learner
Description: Aging demographics of the current perioperative nursing workforce indicate a need to recruit and retain new nurses to the specialty. However, the perioperative setting can be foreign and intimidating for the novice learner due to ever-changing technological advances and minimal exposure to the setting provided through standard nursing curriculum. The Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) advocates for mentorship as a strategy to successfully socialize nurses to practice, prepare them for professional expectations, boost confidence, and provide for personal, professional, and intellectual growth and development. The Ronald Reagan University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) Medical Center Department of Operative Services thus created an integrated preceptorship and mentorship program to support new graduate perioperative nurses’ transition into the surgical environment. Mentor qualifications and program requirements were developed by the perioperative Clinical Nurse Specialist and the service line lead nurses. This program has been effectively implemented and sustained for 6 years. The success of this initiative is attributed to the mentors’ and mentees’ commitment to building genuine, collaborative relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and the ability to provide authentic feedback. As a result of this program, perioperative nurses are able to strengthen interpersonal relationships, increase staff retention, and contribute to better patient care and outcomes.