Nursing retention issues were pressing challenges that hindered the ability of health departments to meet population health services needs and to determine if a public health nurse mentoring program conducted over a 6-month period could be used to improve the competence, retention, and satisfaction of new public health nurses (defined as less than 2 years as a public health nurse or in a new public health nursing role). Health departments in the Central Partnership were invited to submit a proposal for a nurse mentor/mentee team to participate in the pilot project, and four health departments submitted applications that were approved. Nurse mentors received in-person training about population health service issues that should be covered in the pilot period and about how to serve as a mentor. Mentees received a phone orientation to the project. Over a 6-month period, nurse mentor/mentee teams met and implemented elements of the project manual, such as twice-monthly meetings. The Planning Committee sponsored monthly calls for team members (together and individually) to discuss team member progress and challenges they faced in achieving outlined goals.
Organization that conducted the QI initiative:
North Carolina Institute for Public Health