The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and Walsall Healthcare Trust

What interventions or actions did you put in place to support nurses or midwives?

The Royal Wolverhampton Trust and Walsall Healthcare Trust have successfully recruited 8 Legacy Nurse Mentors to provide support to Newly Qualified Nurses and newly appointed staff across the organisation.  The Legacy Nurse Mentors work alongside staff within clinical practice providing guidance, coaching, teaching, whilst sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience they have gained during their career.  The role supplements the existing support offered by Preceptors, Clinical Practice Education Facilitators, Managers and Peers, with all roles working in collaboration to provide robust support for staff at the beginning of their career.

Why did you decide this was important?

Both Trusts are committed to supporting and enhancing the transition of Newly Qualified Nurses and newly appointed staff into their new role through education and support within the clinical area.  The correlation between supportive transition and retention is widely recognised with evidence suggesting improved staff retention within the first year. There was recognition of the wealth of knowledge, skills and experience which is lost from the workforce when experienced nurses retire.  The role provides experienced staff at the point of retirement a different opportunity to retire and return whilst also contributing to the development of the upcoming workforce and enhancing both staff and patient experience.

Legacy Nurse Mentors
How did you go about it?

Prior to recruiting to the post the idea and concept of Legacy Nurse Mentors was shared across the organisations to introduce senior staff/leaders to the role.  Tailored inductions were designed for our mentors to support their transition into their role.  A scoping exercise was undertaken to gather information regarding numbers of Newly Qualified Nurses, current challenges and priorities for Newly Qualified Nurses within each clinical area.  A work plan has been designed with the mentors rotating around different areas in 6-week blocks.  Mentors engage with managers to identify individual needs.  Learning and action points are identified whilst supporting staff to help guide individuals and also contributes to staff being active in their own development and role transition.

How do you know it has been sucessful in supporting colleague's to continue their NHS Career and not leave the NHS?

Some of our mentors had already taken up other roles post-retirement within vaccination hubs and the Legacy Nurse Mentor role has provided staff with the opportunity to continue their NHS career as vaccination hubs started to close.  In addition, the roles provided an opportunity for staff to continue their NHS career rather than taking early retirement.

What 3 suggestions would you make to colleagues considering implementing similar change?

1. Ensure clear definition of the role and how the role works alongside other roles such as Clinical Practice Education Facilitators, Preceptors and Professional Nurse Advocates.

 

2. Take time to complete scoping of Newly Qualified Staff and individual clinical area challenges in order to gain a clear understanding and help shape the role and programme of work.

 

3. Commit to also providing development opportunities to the Legacy Nurse Mentors recruited.

"The Legacy Nurse Mentor role provides staff with a rewarding opportunity to share their vast amount of knowledge, skills and experience whilst also inspiring the next generation of newly qualified practitioners. The role supplements the existing support in place for role transition of newly qualified practitioners at the start of their career journey and contributes to setting a positive foundation to help staff thrive."
Leanne Walford, Senior Matron Workforce Education