New Graduate Nurses’ Perceptions of Mentoring: six-year programme evaluation


  • Pauline C. Beecroft PhD RN FAAN,

  • Susan Santner MSN RN,

  • Mary Lee Lacy MSN RN,

  • Lucy Kunzman MS RN CPNP,

  • Frederick Dorey PhD

Pauline C. Beecroft,
Department Patient Care Services,
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles,
Los Angeles,


Aim.  This paper reports data from an evaluation study to determine whether new graduate nurses: (1) were satisfactorily matched with mentors; (2) received guidance and support; (3) attained socialization into the nursing profession; (4) benefited from having a role model for acquisition of professional behaviours; (5) maintained contact with mentors; and (6) were satisfied with the mentorship.

Background.  The literature indicates that mentorship facilitates transition of new graduate nurses into the workplace and social culture of the organization. In addition, mentoring increases staff retention by decreasing stress and promoting positive self-esteem and confidence.

Methods.  Data were generated from participant responses to survey items about mentoring from 1999 to 2005. Item responses were summarized with descriptive statistics, and then logistic regression was performed to see whether demographic variables predicted successful programme outcomes. In addition, content analysis was performed on respondents’ comments on survey items.

Results.  For participants who met with their mentors on a regular basis (54%), the mentor provided guidance and support for more than 90% and facilitated stress reduction for the majority. On the other hand, comments raised several concerns that apparently contributed to lack of connection between mentor and mentee. These included possible lack of commitment and time, and scheduling constraints of mentor and mentee. Inadequacy of both mentor and mentee in their roles was also apparent, especially in relation to socialization/career advice. Diversity of new graduates, including educational level, age and choice of nursing unit, were shown to add or decrease stress and influence the mentoring relationship.

Conclusion.  A successful relationship between mentor and resident-mentee requires adequate time for the connection to grow through face-to-face meetings on a regular basis. Obstacles to meeting regularly and adequate role training of both mentors and mentees must be addressed in mentorship programmes for new graduate nurses.