Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Peer Mentoring for LTC Charge Nurses
Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was the lead facility for "Peer Mentoring for Long -Term Care Charge Nurses." This was a consortium of 11 nursing homes and the Foundation for Long Term Care (FLTC). It was a dissemination project built upon positive findings from previous research and training programs. The project addressed the profound "disconnect" between the professional education most RNs and LPNs receive which focuses primarily on clinical skills, and the management/leadership skills required on the job. In the peer mentoring process an expert (in this case an experienced charge nurse) acquainted a novice (in this case a new charge nurse) with the customs, resources and values of the organization and also served as a clinical care role model. The Peer Mentoring Program was a supplement to existing orientation programs and had the following goals:
- Improve charge nurse retention rates.
- Improve the quality of care on the charge nurses' units.
- Improve skills in developing an effective team approach to dementia care.
- Support new staff as they make the transition to be part of the facility team.
- Teach positive "practice wisdom" management which is often overlooked or "under-covered" in existing orientation programs.
Goal: Improve leadership, communication, and retention of nurses.