When you hire new members of your nursing staff, you know your new employees have the education, experience and training they need to excel in their specific positions. Your staffing program is strong, so when you choose a candidate, you know that your candidate is ready to step into his or her role and make the most of it.
But in every healthcare field—including nursing—the learning process is lifelong. It doesn’t end when a candidate graduates from school and steps into the workforce, and it doesn’t end after just a few years of experience. It never ends; with every passing year on the job, nurses are exposed to new situations, new clients, new challenges, new technology, and new treatments for disease conditions that may not have existed a year before. So how can you make sure your nursing teams are engaging in constant growth? Consider implementing a mentoring program.
The benefits of a nursing mentor program.
Experienced nurses represent a powerful asset to any healthcare organization. They bring their experience to bear on their own patient interactions, but they also share their knowledge through the role modeling, counseling, and coaching they provide for less experienced staff members. This process happens organically through everyday interactions, but it’s also possible to steer and direct this leadership so younger staff members can reap the full benefits. When they have access to strong mentors, young nurses gain confidence, lock down new skill sets, and correct minor errors before they become habits.
With a mentor close at hand, small issues can be resolved before they become big ones, and young team members have someone to turn to when they’re facing burnout, confusion, or unfamiliar clinical situations.
Instead of constantly inventing the wheel on their own, they can travel a path marked by those who have gone before. And as this happens, the strongest aspects of your workplace culture will be passed on and will flourish.
Establishing a mentoring program.
As you create and implement your program, you can choose an informal route, or a formal structure with established meeting times. You can also allow mentor-mentee pairing to self-select, or you can assign each new employee to a mentor and vice versa. In both cases, make a decision and commit to it. This will keep communication channels open and expectations clear on both sides.
Encourage your mentor-mentee pairs to discuss their shared goals at the outset and create a plan that will help both parties reach those goals. Make yourself available to both participants if they have questions or need guidance during the process.
For more information, contact the Little Rock healthcare staffing and management experts at Career Staffing Services.