Development of a Web-Based Orientation Program and Enhancing Senior Nurses Mentoring Skills

New Brunswick
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Research shows the importance of supporting new nurse recruits during their transition into a workplace. Starting a new career, or a new position, can be a very stressful and critical time. Depending on their experience, nurses may move from one unit or facility to another, or even leave the profession entirely.

Recognizing the importance of workplace transition, the New Brunswick Nurses Union, the NB Department of Health, the Vitalité Health Network (formerly Beauséjour Regional Health Authority) and the Université de Moncton developed a project with two goals:

  • to enhance new nurse orientation and thereby facilitate the integration of new recruits
  • to provide mentorship opportunities for more senior nurses, valuing their knowledge and expertise, and providing additional help for new recruits.

 

 

 

Project Objectives: 
  • Increase participant’s retention of orientation information and the satisfaction rate of new recruits
  • Better prepare newly-employed nurses for their patient assignments
  • Offer senior nurses more opportunities to share their knowledge and expertise
  • Better prepare senior nurses for the training of new recruits
  • Improve quality of work-life
  • Develop portable tools that can be shared among health facilities
  • Contribute to evidence-based research on mentoring models and new recruit integrationinto the work environment
Project Implementation: 

The Nursing Administration and Education departments of the Vitalité Health Network — Zone 1 worked in collaboration with the Université de Moncton to design the 24-month program. The project was implemented at the Dr. Georges-L. Dumont Regional Hospital in Moncton. The 302-bed facility provides a comprehensive range of primary, specialized and tertiary health services that must be delivered in both French and English.

The new orientation program was designed following an individual needs assessment of new recruits. Forty-five recruits used the program over the life of the project. Recruits were given information sessions to introduce them to online access and the e-learning modules. Based on individual learning requirements, they were assigned orientation modules to be completed and assessed on. Access to the web-based modules was available at the workplace and off-site. The current funding of four-week supernumerary new recruit positions will continue, but through the development of the web-based orientation program, the new recruits will be able to focus their efforts on their individual learning requirements and devote more time to the development of skills in a clinical setting.

The project also established a voluntary mentorship training program for senior nurses, including a 3-day mentorship training course. The program provided training on the roles and responsibilities of mentors and offered mentors additional professional development opportunities.

Project Outcomes: 
  • Mentorship literature and guides in French — a valuable resource for francophones across the country
  • An online orientation site adapted to the needs of each nursing unit
  • More efficient orientation — nurses able to access the modules on their own time and from any place; and nurses able to start earlier, not needing to wait for the hospital’s orientation cycle
  • Development of a mentorship training program, and increased capacity for mentorship — to date, 28 nurse mentors have been trained
  • Increased confidence of new nurses who were accompanied by nurse mentors during orientation
  • Extension of the online orientation program to LPNs; mentorship training is being extended to them as well
  • Education department heads from other health zones in New Brunswick have shown interest in the orientation modules
  • Discussions are underway concerning the possibility of standardizing the mentorship program across the region
  • Evaluation results will contribute to research on orientation and mentorship programs and could help inform future endeavours