May 20, 2002
Reply by Author in response to letter by Jessica Hamilton on Nursing Shortage: Not a Simple Problem - No Easy Answers" by Cheryl Peterson, MSN, RN (January 31, 2001)
Thank you for your excellent comments. I would agree that the future success of new registered nurses rests in large part on the mentoring that they receive from experienced nurses. The role of mentor is critical to successful integration into the profession. It is time for experienced nurses to set aside their frustration with the work environment and embrace this role with a commitment to shaping future nurses. I also believe that it is equally important that the management in the hospital, or any other health facility, recognizes how critical this role is for retaining new graduates at their facility. With this recognition should come sufficient staffing to allow for the mentor to focus on this role, thus demonstrating that this is a valued leadership role for experienced registered nurses.
Cheryl A. Peterson, MSN, RN