Graduation Year


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



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Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Donna J. Corley

Department Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

Second Advisor

Jill Cornelison

Department Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing

Third Advisor

Mary DeLetter

Department Affiliation

Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing


Retention of new graduate registered nurses (RNs) is a problem within the healthcare system negatively impacting patient safety and health care outcomes. The problem of retention of qualified RNs is compounded by the potential shortage of RNs, the aging RN workforce and the aging US population. During a period of transition, a novice RN requires the guidance of others to learn to apply theoretical knowledge to real life clinical experiences. In the linear progression of Benner’s levels of clinical competency, the beginning two levels of nurses need a resource person to guide their progression in clinical practice. A mentoring relationship can help the nurse accelerate through the novice to expert continuum. Mentoring is an intervention to foster support and socialization of new RNs to an organization or unit. A nurse mentor program was developed and implemented with the purpose to improve nurse satisfaction and intent to stay. A pre and post intervention design was implemented in a rural Emergency Department to evaluate nurse job satisfaction and intent to stay in the job. Intent to stay in the job mean scores increased and the RN participants reported program satisfaction through verbal and written feedback.