International Journal of Nursing and Health Care Research (ISSN: 2688-9501)

Article / research article

"Effects of a Structured Mentorship Program Handbook on Student Knowledge within a Nurse Anesthesia Program"

Thomas J. Pallaria*, Patricia Meringer, Reve Brander, Michael McLaughlin

Nurse Anesthesia Program, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

*Corresponding author: Thomas J. Pallaria, Program Director and Assistant Professor at Rutgers School of Nursing Anesthesia Program, Newark, New Jersey, USA. Tel: +1-9739722513; Fax: +1-9739728950. Email: pallartj@sn.rutgers.edu/pcm79@sn.rutgers.edu

Received Date: 15 May, 2019; Accepted Date: 09 August, 2019; Published Date: 15 August, 2019

Abstract

Mentorship within the anesthesia community is an untapped resource that has the potential to enhance not only the wellness of the individuals involved but improve the quality of care provided by anesthesia providers by creating a foundation that molds strong leaders and the clinical educators of tomorrow [1]. The Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist (SRNA) mentorship program at Rutgers University is a student driven system that encourages mentee-mentor relationships to cultivate peer learning, professionalism, and wellness. The purpose of this project was to create a mentorship handbook and evaluate the effectiveness of a mentorship program handbook on student knowledge that can be utilized to implement, maintain, and sustain a successful mentorship program. The study intervention consists of the creation and dissemination of an available handbook and mentorship tool, which outlines the intricate details and execution strategies of the Mentorship Program within the SRNA community at Rutgers University. A total of 63 surveys were collected from both pre and post surveys between the second, third, and fourth Doctorate of Nurse Practice (DNP) cohorts. As a result of the mentorship handbook, knowledge of the mentorship program increased (rs=0.999; p<0.01), knowledge of being a mentor/ mentee increased (rs=0.999; p<0.01 and rs=0.995; p<0.01), and understanding the role and responsibilities of a mentorship coordinator increased (rs=0.999; p<0.01).

Keywords: Leadership; Mentee; Mentor; Mentorship; Student registered nurse anesthetist (SRNA)

Introduction

Mentorship within the anesthesia community is an untapped resource that has the potential to enhance not only the wellness of the individuals involved but improve the quality of care provided by creating a foundation that molds strong leaders and clinical educators. Throughout the student nurse anesthetist’s educational journey, the role of a clinical guide or mentor is of extreme value [1]. The impact that mentorship plays within the formation of Registered Nurse (RN) to Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) may not only cultivate academic growth, but also enhances relationships throughout the academic setting and within professional practice. The purpose of this project is to create a mentorship handbook and evaluate the effectiveness of a mentorship program handbook on student knowledge, with the understanding that such guidebook can be utilized by any individual or institution to implement, maintain, and sustain a successful mentorship program that produces strong leaders who eventually become clinical educators.

The information contained within the mentorship handbook (Figure 1) details the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the program and its participants. In addition, the handbook details the specific qualities of a strong leader and navigates the user on applicable methods to cultivate those qualities. Information was synthesized from data collected during an in-depth literature review and was collaborated with research obtained from the previous Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP-1) Mentorship Coordinator Chairs at Rutgers University [1]. The handbook was uploaded to the Rutgers Nurse Anesthesia online portal and disseminated to the SRNAs currently enrolled in the Rutgers Nurse Anesthesia Program (RNAP). This provides mentorship participants with the ability to successfully transition from mentee to mentor, followed by the transition of a student mentor in academia to a CRNA clinical educator in the clinical practice setting.

A survey was administered before and after public announcement of the handbook to evaluate the impact on student knowledge and mentorship practice within the community, as well as the impact of leadership on active users as participant’s transition from students to clinical educators. The objective and aims of this project was to create a mentorship handbook that details mentorship, the benefits of mentorship, and the framework of the mentor-mentee relationship. Having clearly defined mentorship roles should improve outcomes, enhance peer learning, and cultivate leadership potential. A secondary aim of this project includes defining the role and responsibilities of mentorship coordinators of matching dyads, instituting mentee and mentor training, setting expectations, and providing a framework for evaluation and feedback. Finally, the last objective includes creating a platform for dissemination so other CRNA programs nationwide could utilize and initiate the Rutgers Mentorship Program into their own curriculum. Analysis, evaluation, and discussion of such impact are detailed below.