What goes around comes around: improving faculty retention through more effective mentoring

J Prof Nurs. Nov-Dec 2008;24(6):337-46. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2007.10.013.


In the midst of a nursing faculty shortage, recruitment and retention of new faculty are of utmost importance if the country is to educate and graduate a sufficient number of nurses to fill the health care demands. The pressure of horizontal hostility combined with lack of support, guidance, and knowledge about the educational system makes the novice nurse faculty members vulnerable to burnout and early resignations. Mentorship is the single most influential way to successfully develop new nursing faculty, reaping the benefits of recruitment, retention, and long-term maturation of future nurse mentors. Mentoring is a developmental process designed to support and navigate the novice nurse educator through the tasks and experiences of nursing education. The essential elements of an effective mentorship program include the following: socialization, collaboration, operations, validation/evaluation, expectations, transformation, reputation, documentation, generation, and perfection. The mentoring process can lead to an upward spiral of success. If negative, the new faculty experience is at risk for a downward spiral. In this spiral, the final outcome will ultimately be the creation of productive faculty (and future nurse mentors), along with improved faculty group dynamics and teamwork, or just another vacant position.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Documentation
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing / organization & administration*
  • Faculty, Nursing / supply & distribution*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Hostility
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Mentors / psychology*
  • Models, Educational
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Peer Review
  • Personnel Turnover*
  • Preceptorship / organization & administration
  • Program Development
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Social Support
  • Socialization
  • Staff Development / organization & administration*