Document Type

DNP Project


School of Nursing

Date of Degree

Spring 2022


Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Primary Advisor

Dr. Joyce Knestrick PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN; Dr. Janice Brewington PhD, RN, FAAN; Dr. Lisa Sundean PhD, MHA, RN


Nursing; Mentorship; Leadership


Background: Nurses comprise the largest component of the healthcare workforce and possess a unique understanding of healthcare operations and patient care. On average, the proportion of nurses serving on hospital boards range from 2 to 6%, with the proportion of physicians averaging 20%. Over the last decade, much attention has been placed on emphasizing the importance of a nurse’s presence on boards. Despite these initiatives, nurses continue to display an overall hesitancy towards board service.

Objectives: The aim of this project was to implement an evidence-based mentorship program to address barriers to board leadership and increase overall self-efficacy and motivation to pursue these positions.

Methods: Eleven nurse leader mentees and eleven mentors participated in a voluntary mentorship program that addressed barriers to board leadership and gave guidance to seeking out board positions. Mentees completed the Sundean Healthcare Index for Preparedness in Board Competency (SHIP-BC) survey pre and post participation to measure changes in self-efficacy. Mentors and mentees also completed additional surveys to measure overall satisfaction with the program.

Results: There were increases in the mentees average score on the SHIP-BC survey after program completion with a statistically significant difference in personal – interpersonal skills, as exhibited by a two-sided exact p-value of 0.027. Both groups expressed satisfaction in the program, expressing the value of formal mentorship and increased comfort level surrounding pursuing board leadership positions.

Conclusions: Nurses possess a unique understanding of the healthcare sphere that make them valuable resources for board positions. Through these roles, nurses would have increased opportunities to advocate for patients and influence healthcare transformation. Utilization of an evidence-based mentorship model can assist in increasing nurses’ understanding of the importance of board leadership and overall feelings of self-efficacy.

Open Access


Included in

Nursing Commons



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