Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Faculty Advisor

Eileen Stuart-Shor

Site Advisor

Brenda Jenkins

Second Reader

Tamika Dowling


Background: Post-pandemic rates of mental illness have increased, resulting in a rise in demand for psychiatric services. At the same time, a growing shortage of psychiatric providers is occurring. This combination has given rise to an expanding mental health crisis where strengthening and stabilizing the psychiatric workforce is paramount. Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses are uniquely qualified to staff this shortage. Therefore, positive job satisfaction for Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses is vital to increase and retain psychiatric healthcare providers available to address this critical need for mental health services.

Methods: At the project site, the shift to telehealth, changing leadership, and rapid organizational growth have negatively impacted job satisfaction among Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses in the project setting.

Intervention: A PRISMA-guided review was completed to identify ways to improve Advanced Practice Nurse job satisfaction. As part of the review, multiple studies identified mentoring as an effective intervention. As a result, a mentoring network initiative was implemented in the Massachusetts region of a national outpatient psychiatric practice. The intervention started with an optional workshop for all Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses employed at the project site, and the workshop was added to orientation for newly hired Psychiatric Advanced Practice Nurses. During the workshop, the participants completed a mentoring needs self-assessment and created a mentoring map. In addition, mentoring check-ins were added to a standing Advanced Practice Nurse consult group within the practice to build interest in reciprocal peer mentoring.

Results: The Psychiatric Advance Practice Nurses that attended the workshop believed that the training and mentorship improved their job satisfaction. Participation was high for new hires assigned training as part of new-hire orientation. However, attendance was low for current employees, where participation was voluntary and clinical demands were reported to be a barrier to attendance.

Conclusion: The mentoring workshop improved job satisfaction, but external forces must foster motivation to attend the workshop and engage in mentorship. Mentorship can be a challenge in a fee-for-service payment model where a top-down approach to mentorship may be needed to build motivation to supplement paid clinical time with time engaged in mentorship.