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Nursing Peer Mentorship Program Empowers Students to Thrive


Riverdale, N.Y. – This fall, the College of Mount Saint Vincent is continuing the Nursing Department’s Peer Mentorship Program, which was revived last spring to stunning success. Fifteen mentors from the Mount’s regular and accelerated nursing programs were instrumental in driving their mentees’ academic achievement. Through the mentorship process, mentors reported that their own performance reached groundbreaking heights. Evidence abounds in tangible results including the Mount’s record-setting NCLEX scores.

“The mentored students were more successful in their coursework, gained valuable test taking skills, and performed better on final exams,” said Deborah Kramer, R.N., Ed.D., C.P.N.P., F.N.P., Associate Professor of Nursing at the College since 1990. For the first time since its inception in 1994, the revitalized program has included accelerated students mentored by accelerated graduates.

Mentors are selected based on course grades of at least a B+ average and faculty recommendations. Mentees are voluntary participants—thirty sophomores, juniors, and accelerated students composed the spring 2017 semester’s mentee group. “The mentorship program is unique because it not only involves peer tutoring and guidance in relation to subject matter, but also advice on how to succeed as a nursing student and, eventually, in the field itself,” Dr. Kramer said.

Before engaging in two-hour sessions twice a week with their mentee, mentors completed multiple training sessions on teaching and learning styles, time management, test taking skills, anxiety and stress reduction, and concept mapping. “Mentors often cited that understanding different learning styles and instructional techniques helped them better master skills in areas such as note-taking and test preparation,” Dr. Kramer said. “For new graduates, the experience served as a good refresher as they set off on their career. It was a valuable opportunity allowing both parties to excel.” Most of all, Dr. Kramer said, the program emphasizes the Department of Nursing’s “culture of caring,” a sacred tenet underscoring the Mount’s focus on service.

As the fall semester begins, Dr. Kramer plans to continually identify students who might benefit from the program while actively recruiting a network of prospective mentors. The program is also now available to seniors in the undergraduate program. Further, a reserve section of resource materials are available at the College’s Elizabeth Seton Library to benefit students across the Department of Nursing. The program is incorporating stress reduction practices, featuring ways to reduce anxiety and promote a balanced, healthy lifestyle in conjunction with the College’s Academic Resource Center (ARC) and Counseling Center.

“Our Nursing Department is dedicated to facilitating holistic learning both in and outside of the classroom, and the Peer Mentorship Program is a vital piece of that,” Dr. Kramer said.

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of professional accomplishment, service, and leadership in the 21st century.