Date of Graduation

Fall 12-13-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


DNP Completion

First Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella

Second Advisor

Dr. Juli Maxworthy



Problem: Primary factors affecting nurses’ decisions to stay at an organization include nurse self-concept, job satisfaction, and professional growth. A high turnover rate of nurses poses a risk to patients’ safety and healthcare outcomes. The implementation of mentor programs in institutions that employ new nurses has been shown to reduce turnover rates, increase the quality of patient care, and empower nurses in professional development. The existing literature supports the use of mentor programs and encourages their implementation in healthcare institutions.

Interventions: The DNP project’s goal was to identify effective methods of promoting positive nurse self-concept and increasing job satisfaction and confidence in providing safe care to patients, with the objective of increasing nurse retention through a mentor program.

Measures: Mentors and mentees were asked to participate in a pre- and post-intervention assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the project. The assessments collected data on nurses’ self-concept, perceived job satisfaction, intent to stay working at their organization, and confidence in providing safe care to patients.

Results: The common theme identified in the participants’ responses was a dedication and desire to care for and help others. These desires promoted positive nurse self-concept, increased job satisfaction, increased confidence in providing patient care, and increased intent to stay.

Conclusions: Organizational attention to nurse job satisfaction and retention rates is crucial to reduce nurse turnover in specialty areas. Quick solutions are not sufficient to address high turnover and low job satisfaction, both of which impinge on providing safe patient care. An investment must be made to truly support nurses, not only in their first years but throughout their entire careers. A mentor program is only one element of the necessary support.