Mentor Program in New Jersey Provides Opportunities for New Nurses

In any career, finding good mentorship can pay off in dividends both by providing a mature professional guide as well as a personal one. However, finding and seeking mentorship can be difficult. A program in New Jersey hopes to change that for nurses.

The mentor matching program of the Organization of Nurse Executives, New Jersey (ONE NJ) has put together a mentorship matching program designed to help nurses find mentors and to provide an outlet for older and more experienced nurses to share their wisdom with mentees.

Potential mentors and mentorees fill out an online survey with their contact information and a list of their own professional goals. The ONE NJ program then takes the time to review the information and match mentees with mentors that ONE NJ believes will help the mentees to attain their goals.

The mentor provides an outlet for mentees to ask tough questions and address fears and issues that mentees might not otherwise express with coworkers. It also helps mentees to match with a mentor even if their own workplace is not necessarily providing one for them.

As the program has continued to develop, ONE NJ found that nurses who are geographically close have a more impactful mentor mentee relationship. They have also taken the time to develop a toolkit that outlines the responsibilities for both parties and includes goals for the mentor and mentee to pursue.

The program started with less than a dozen pairings in 2011 and has now grown to 17. It has received extremely positive reviews from participants, many of whom continue to maintain their relationships well after completing the program. With plans to reward pairs of nurses for their achievements as a pair each year and to continue developing tools for mentors and mentees to use, the ONE NJ program is a fantastic outlet for nurses hoping to make an impact in the medical field.