Nurturing the Novice: Initiating the Journey of Transformational Shifts in the Development of Future Nurse Mentors

Brenda Ramstrom-Llambes, Augsburg College


The nursing profession is facing a shortage of 400,000 RNs by 2020 (Shirey, 2006), many of them holding leadership positions. This situation could lead to a large number of novice nurse leaders during a time when the demands for dynamic and effective leadership are growing in the evolving and complex healthcare environment. Now is the time to educate current leaders regarding the role they play in the success or failure of these novice leaders. By incorporating knowledge from Jean Watson's (1985, 2005) Caring Theory, Bernard Bass' (1985, 1998) Transformational Leadership Theory and Patricia Benner's (2001) adaptation of the Dreyfus Skill Acquisition Model (1980) for nursing, the journey will begin that will stimulate a transformational shift in how the nursing profession educates mentors in preparation for novice leader development. Only when we assure prepared mentors, can we assure dynamic future leaders and a strong nursing presence in the future.