This article describes a team approach to developing an evidence-based mentoring program for nurses at a major academic medical center. The center's nursing leadership empowered nurses to design and implement a program that supports staff engagement and professional development. This structured, collaborative process resulted in an innovative mentoring program that is aligned with the organizational culture and practices.
Mentoring is widely defined as a reciprocal and collaborative learning relationship between 2 or more individuals who share responsibility and accountability for helping a mentee to achieve mutually defined learning goals.1 Access to high-quality mentoring contributes greatly to the success and advancement of many professions, both in the corporate and academic realms. The American Nurses Credentialing Center's 2019 Magnet® Application Manual has placed an even greater emphasis on mentoring as a standard of excellence in nursing practice.2
The need for a formal mentoring program was identified by nursing task forces, shared-governance councils, and the nursing professional development department at a large academic medical center in New York City. In February 2015, the chief nursing officer (CNO) convened a mentoring task force, charged to develop a formal mentoring program for all nurses in the organization, from direct care to executive level. This article will detail the process that ultimately resulted in the successful creation of a formal, structured, evidence-based mentoring program designed to engage, empower, and support nurses at every level across the care continuum.