Formal mentorship: Bridging the gap between nurse practitioner's education and practice

Project Background

The U.S. is expected to have shortage of 51,000 primary care providers by the year 2025.

NPs are well prepared to help fill this major provider shortage; however, there is still a gap between the new graduate NP’s educational training and the transition into their fully actualized advanced practice role. There also remains a gap within institutions’ infrastructures needed to assist novice NPs during their transition into practice and to assist them in achieving full role function in an efficient manner. One possible solution would be to develop and sustain a mentorship program that would focus on improving new APRNs’ confidence, competence, and overall job satisfaction.

Mentorship programs have been shown to accelerate new employee growth and development, however, the literature lacks a complete program plan to make this intervention operational. Hence, in order to make this intervention operational, it was necessary to develop a curriculum based on the theoretical concepts of mentorship and tailored to the APRN role.

Project Purpose

Prior to implementation of the designed program, an evaluation of the program’s content and curriculum was complete to assess the effectiveness and usability of the program. The purpose of this paper is to describe the program’s evaluation process, results, and program modifications made based on the evaluations.

Project Methods

Six NPs with five or more years of experience and actively practicing were recruited as evaluators of the mentor’s training program. The first two levels (reaction, learning) of the Kirkpatrick Model of program evaluation were used to examine the effectiveness of the training program.

Project Outcomes

The findings of the project support the overall effectiveness of the mentor’s training program. Evaluators valued education on the phases and functions of mentorship, handling challenging as well as the training activities and resources. There were a minor modifications suggested and made to the program including transitioning a portion of the training to independent study models, making adjustments to the role-play experiences, and removing of a small number of activities.

Project Implications

In summary, the mentor’s training program was deemed effective, useful, and necessary in order to promote full development of NP mentors and the growth and development of the next generation NPs.


Dejuana Jackson

Graduation Date

April, 2017


formal mentorship
nurse practitioner
training program