Legacy Mentor Project
Valuing and investing in retention of our experienced and skilled clinical Staff Nurses
The Legacy Mentor Pilot Project commenced in December 2017, hosted by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust working in partnership with Nottinghamshire Healthcare Foundation NHS Trust, Nottingham City Care and University of Nottingham. This pilot project builds on evidence from a Canadian study which identified a focused mentorship intervention; retain skilled bedside clinicians, develop pathways of facilitated knowledge, and support and development for new learners in practice.
The Nottinghamshire project retains a similar focus by providing development opportunities for experienced and skilled mentors, supporting both their retention within the workforce and promoting supportive practice environment. This is known to enhance retention of more junior clinical nursing staff as these experienced nurses have a wealth of knowledge and skills that they can share with registered and non-registered nurse colleagues in their ward areas. It is anticipated that supporting late career nurses to explore new career opportunities will inspire the legacy mentors, ensuring they feel valued and confident to undertake new roles, resulting in greater retention of this highly skilled and experienced cohort.
The Project is facilitated by a project lead, and has focused monthly study sessions, the agenda is driven by the legacy mentors’ own ideas and objectives. Collaborating within a community of practice, the Legacy Mentors share inspiration, ideas and provide mutual support to assist them improve care provision within their different specialties.
Each legacy mentor has established an evidence-based educational project within their speciality or setting, which will be disseminated across healthcare organisations to improve patient care and team working. Facilitation of the legacy mentor programme consists of individual and group coaching, signposting to supportive networks, helping with project evaluation and dissemination and acting as a resource to the cohort.
For more information about this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellen Cutler - Legacy Mentor Project Lead
I commenced my nursing training at Sheffield Hallam University, and qualified with a BA (Hons) in Childrens Nursing. Whilst training I was able to spend time within the Neonatal Intensive setting on placement, and discovered my passion for Neonatal nursing. Once qualified I immediately commenced on the Neonatal unit at NUH. I was delighted to be given this opportunity and I have now worked within the Neonatal service for over 10 years. The Neonatal environment is highly specialised and complex, treating sick and premature babies with medical and surgical conditions. The Neonatal service incorporates intensive care, high dependency care and special care patients, and it is a privilege to support patients and carers through the neonatal journey. I have been supported to complete my qualified in speciality modules and mentorship qualification in order to provide the best patient care and support learners and new staff. I am a sign off mentor and am currently completing my MSc Advanced Nursing at the University of Nottingham.
I have a passion for education and development of staff to support the best care for patients and families and have become the Practice Development Nurse for the service. This role allows me to support the team to provide the most effective evidence based care for our families, make service improvements and develop staff talents. The role allows me to give the hands on care that I enjoy giving to families, but also the knowledge that when I am away from the bedside, the quality evidence based care continues.
I have recently been seconded to a new role across Nottinghamshire called the Legacy Mentor Project. I was able to use my skills within the Legacy Mentor Project role, to lead the Pilot Project. The project focused on nurses within the later years of their profession providing development opportunities for experienced and skilled mentors, supporting both their retention within the workforce and promoting supportive practice environment. This is known to enhance retention of more junior clinical nursing staff as these experienced nurses have a wealth of knowledge and skills that they can share colleagues in their ward areas. I have been able to support each Legacy Mentor to establish an evidence-based educational project within their speciality or setting, which will be disseminated across healthcare organisations to improve patient care and team working. Being involved within the project has been a wonderful opportunity, and working alongside the Legacy Mentors, who are still as passionate about nursing as I am, has been a privilege.
Ellen Cutler, Legacy Mentor Project Lead