Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Cheryl Leuning

Second Advisor

Deboray Schuhmacher


The Mentorship Through Storytelling Program began in response to an urgent need to reduce registered nurse (RN) turnover rates and improve nurses’ satisfaction on a medical surgical unit in a Midwestern Hospital. The unit was challenged to hire, integrate, and retain a multigenerational team of RNs. Guided by Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring, the Mentorship Through Storytelling Program was initiated in the fall of 2018 after doing a broad literature review and adapting the Academy of Medical Surgical Nurses’ Mentorship Program to include the concepts of storytelling, mentoring, and caring. Digital recordings of five expert nurses’ oral histories (stories) were recorded and archived. Next, when three new RNs were hired, the three newly hired nurses (mentees) were paired with three experienced nurses (mentors). The mentor/mentee pairs were instructed on the Mentorship Through Storytelling Program through a series of meetings introducing them to the program. These meetings gave the mentor/mentee pairs time to share their stories. These data were collected through surveys at three-month and six- month intervals. This data along with baseline data on medical-surgical unit’s turnover rates were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Mentorship Through Storytelling Program. Initial positive results have spurred organizational strategic plans to expand the program to other units in the institution as a means of retaining staff and improving employee satisfaction that complements current on-boarding and preceptorship programs.


SC 11.DNP.2019.Perry.DM