Mentorship of Early-, Mid- and Late-Career Nurses, as a Retention Measure: Rapid Review of the Evidence


Executive Summary

Turnover rates among nurses working in acute settings in Canada are high and continue to have important consequences for the nursing profession and for the health care system. A 2022 survey in the United States revealed that 71% of hospital nurses with more than 15 years of experience were thinking of leaving the hospital setting soon.​

This is consistent with other studies on nurses’ ‘intent to leave’ reporting for instance in Canada that 59% of early-career nurses, 56% of mid-career nurses and 20% of late-career nurses were considering leaving their current position within the next year. Further, 19% of nurses in this study were contemplating leaving the nursing profession altogether. ​

Most recently, the COVID‑19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the nursing workforce and has exacerbated retention issues. This ongoing issue necessitates the consideration of different retention measures including mentorship programs for early-, mid-, and late-career nurses. This report presents a rapid review of available published evidence on whether mentorship programs are effective strategies for retention of nurses at different career stages. ​

  • Published: March 29, 2023

With funding from the Government of Canada

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