The 18-month project was implemented at three of the 38 personal care homes in the WRHA. Twenty-three nurses took part in the pilot, including 12 protégés (4 RNs and 8 LPNs) and 11 mentors (9 RNs and 2 LPNs). Nine of the protégés were new graduates and three were nurses that had worked in other settings but were new to LTC.
The protégés were matched with experienced nurse mentors who provided support and guidance. The mentors attended a one-day workshop that focused on building and enhancing their mentoring skills. A week later, the protégés and mentors were paired during a one-day orientation workshop. This allowed the partners to meet, to talk about their expectations, and to review tools available throughout the mentoring relationship.
The project also offered a series of six clinical workshops based on topics clinically relevant to LTC. The workshop content was developed and delivered by content experts in the various subject areas with an eye to an interprofessional perspective. Interactive sessions complete with PowerPoint presentations and activities/case studies were developed for each topic along with a corresponding participant’s handbook which was printed and distributed to workshop attendees. In addition to the protégés and mentors participating in the pilot, the clinical workshops were open to any professional staff member working within an LTC facility in Winnipeg. A total of 390 staff attended the six workshops. The majority of attendees were nurses but also included registered dietitians, social workers, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, a chaplain and a patient safety officer.
Program guides containing all of the educational materials required to reproduce the enhanced orientation program were distributed to stakeholders to promote sustainability and transferability to other jurisdictions in Manitoba and nationally.