Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Deborah Schuhmacher


Learning to care for complex psychiatric patients is stressful. Novice psychiatric nurses learning to care for both medical and psychiatric adult patients, some of whom are geriatric, may feel overwhelmed. These nurses are unprepared with the necessary knowledge and skills to care for these complex patients, leading to frustration early in the nurses' career, and they may leave psychiatric nursing. Mentoring has been recognized a a significant process within the nursing profession to promote staff nurse retention. A metaphor of learning to ride a bicycle is used as a visual representation of the mentorship program for understanding the mentor/mentee relationship. Three metaphor images portray the gradual progression in the development of the mentor/mentee relationship and skill level of the novice nurse mentee. This paper describes and illustrates a mentorship program developed for novice psychiatric nurses on an adult and geriatric medical psychiatric unit in a Midwest health center. Watson's Theory of Human Caring guided the development of the mentorship program. This mentoring program will increase novice psychiatric nurse retention, ultimately providing improved continuity of patient care.


SC 11.MAN.2017.Niesen.L