Mentorship Matters: Understanding the Impact of Mentorship for Advanced Practice Providers
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants, collectively termed advanced practice providers (APPs), report a lack of onboarding and professional support which has been shown to lead to job dissatisfaction, high turnover rates, professional attrition, and gaps in patient care; wasting billions of healthcare dollars and falling short of the Quadruple Aim. A time-honored, integral means of support in many industries is mentorship. This is a dynamic, evolving relationship between an experienced professional and a novice professional that promotes knowledge application, systems navigation, organizational socialization and personal role integration.
Unfortunately, healthcare organizations have been slow to adopt mentorship, as evidenced by the paucity of studies on mentorship programs in health care, and APP turnover rates twice that of physicians. This evidenced-based project expands on the limited existing studies regarding the associations between mentorship and organizational commitment, as well as explores the desired characteristics of quality mentors and perceived barriers to APP mentorship.
A survey of multispecialty APPs at an oncology practice within a larger, multi-state integrated healthcare delivery system reveals access to mentors and time are the biggest barriers. The most desired mentorship characteristics are professional knowledge and motivational support. Career development through mentorship can increase job satisfaction and retention, as well as improve the quality of care provided by APPs. By strengthening the professional foundations, patients will benefit with continuity of care, improved quality measures, and efficient systems communication reaching the Quadruple Aim targets.