The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3168.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #74563

A Mentoring Program for Public Health Nurses

Taylor Crenshaw, BSN, MPH, CHES, Emory University-Rollins School of Public Health, 1750 Clairmont Rd. #5, Decatur, GA 30033, 404-325-5776,

Nurses comprise the largest group of healthcare providers; however, there is a nursing shortage in the United States. Public health nursing in Georgia is experiencing this shortage today. Recruitment and retention is a great concern to healthcare providers. Mentoring is identified as having a positive influence on job satisfaction and a beneficial concept in retention of employees. This study explores the concept of mentoring and a mentoring program with public health nurses throughout Georgia. This study also identifies aspects of mentoring that may be utilized within public health nursing practice. Seventy-eight nurses were interviewed in focus groups to obtain a definition of mentoring. The information from the focus groups was analyzed by identifying common themes of mentoring, professional needs, and suggestions for a mentoring program. These common themes reflected the nurse’s ideas of a mentor. The mentoring relationship involved the mentor as a resource for decision-making, goal setting and perspective. According to the nurses, key elements of a mentoring program included a mentor that was in proximity to them, available as a resource, and flexible. Some nurses felt a mentoring relationship should last at least a year and others felt a time limit could not be placed on the relationship. Incentives and buy-in from upper level management were also identified as important. Time and money were the two largest barriers described for the integration of a mentoring program. These themes provided the basis for a manual that could be used in a mentoring program for public health nurses. Mentoring is a phenomenon that has great potential to develop and strengthen the public health nursing workforce.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Public Health Nursing, Staff Retention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health, Office of Nursing- I assisted in developing a mentoring manual for the Office Of Nursing
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Committee on Affiliates Student Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA