Debriefers and Mentors’ Pivotal Role in Versant Program

Premier Nursing News

Sodders HS

 By Kelly Sodders BSN, RN, NE-BC

Do you feel great after helping a nurse colleague? Are you seeking to make a positive difference in a nurse’s career? Could you use more Premier Excellence in Nursing (PEN) clinical ladder advancement program points?

Versant LogoThe role of a Versant Nurse Residency Coach is rewarding and key to the success and integration of nurses into the Premier Health culture. We are actively recruiting and calling for nurses and non-nurses in all settings/roles to serve as a coach for a nurse.

There are two types of coach roles to choose from: debriefer or mentor. From the beginning, the Versant RN Residency program has included mentoring and debriefing/self-care as critical elements. In addition to the benefits for residents, participation in a debriefing or mentoring relationship can provide rewards for the coach. Being a coach provides an opportunity to encourage the professional development of nurses through guidance and support (in a non-evaluative role). In addition, debriefing/mentoring is an excellent opportunity for the coach to further develop his/her leadership and communication skills.

Both roles:

  • Relate and connect the organization’s strategic initiatives/goals to daily nursing practice
  • Guide, coach, and support without solving problems for the residents.
  • Provide support to assigned group of 6-10 nurse residents up to the first year of practice.
  • Provide both positive and negative feedback constructively.
  • Convey a positive image of self, their discipline and the organization.
  • Require an approachable, non-judgmental and empathetic approach
Debriefer Mentor
  • Allows the residents to express feelings or emotions about their clinical experiences during the residency. These experiences may include taking care of a dying patient, perceiving a manager as non-supportive, or having trouble communicating with a preceptor/peer.
  • Embraces the purpose and need for debriefing by creating a safe environment for sharing feelings and solving problems.
  • Provides skills and guidance in handling stress, conflict, and emotionally laden situations in the clinical setting.
  • Helps the new RN develop effective self-care skills.
  • Each debriefing group is co-facilitated by a two-person team. At least one member of this team should be an RN and the other can be any interprofessional partner within the organization. (ie: social workers, pharmacists, pastoral care, etc.)
  • Develops the residents along their chosen career path through their first year of practice and plan for beyond.
  • Serves as a resource, advisor, supporter, and champion.
  • Offers a different perspective, acts as a sounding board, assists in interpreting communication, and is someone to go to for advice.
  • Provides feedback to constructively influence the resident’s behavior as a professional nurse.
  • Articulates understanding of nursing professional practice, the role of the professional nurse, and the organization’s nursing structure and standards.
  • Each mentoring group is led by one to two nurses. Mentors are to be RNs.

If interested in training, please log in to HealthStream, search in the Catalog tab, and register:

Versant Debriefer/Mentor Training Sessions

Date Beginning Time End Time Building Location Room Name HealthStream Class
Aug 11 12:30 pm 3:30 pm AMC- Professional Bldg. 5th flr Learning Lab A & B Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education
Aug 24 8:30 am 11:30 am MVH- Ctr. Of Nsg. Excellence- Weber Bldg. G225 Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education
Sept. 15 12:30 pm 3:30 pm GSH (closed in 2018)- - Ctr. Of Nsg. Excellence Computer Lab Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education
Sept. 27 12:30 pm 3:30 pm MVH- Ctr. Of Nsg. Excellence- Weber Bldg. G225 Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education
Oct. 13 8:30 am 11:30 am MVH- Ctr. Of Nsg. Excellence- Weber Bldg. G224 Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education
Oct. 25 12:30 pm 3:30 pm MVH- Ctr. Of Nsg. Excellence- Weber Bldg. G224 Versant Debriefer – Mentor Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the time commitment for a debriefer?
When you choose to be a debriefer, you with be partnered with a cohort group of six to 10 nurses and journey with the resident over a year. Debriefer time commitment is: 3 hr training workshop, four debriefing sessions lasting 1-1.5 hours each throughout the resident’s first 18 weeks, and then during post immersion period, 3 debriefing sessions lasting 1-1.5 hours.

What is the time commitment for a mentor?
When you choose to be a mentor, you will be partnered with a cohort group of six to 10 nurses and journey with the nurse resident over a year. Mentor time commitment is: 3 hour training workshop, two mentoring sessions lasting 1.5 hours each throughout the residents first 18 weeks. Then at their 8-, 10-, and 12-month session - each last approximately four to five hours. You mentor them through two projects: putting together a professional portfolio, and one group performance improvement project.

A sample of the debriefer and mentor session dates for coaches to lead for the August 2016 cohort

August 2016 Versant Nurse Resident Cohort dates:
(each session’s assigned topic/objectives can be found in Voyager)

Debriefing sessions:

Immersion Period
Debrief session #1 - September 16 8:15 am - 9:45 am
Debrief session #2 - September 30 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Debrief session #3 - October 27 8 am - 9:30 am
Debrief session #4 - December 8 10:15 am -11:45am

Post Immersion Period
Debrief session #5 (Post - Immersion) April 4 10:45 am - 11:45 am
Debrief session #6 (Post - Immersion) June 6 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Debrief session #7 (Post - Immersion) July 19 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Mentoring sessions:

Immersion Period
Mentor session #1 - October 27 9:45 am -11:15am
Mentor session #2 - December 8 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm 

Post Immersion Period
Mentor session #3 (Post - Immersion) April 4 12:30 pm - 4:00 pm Month 8
Mentor session #4 (Post - Immersion) June 6 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Month 10
Mentor session #5 (Post - Immersion) July 19 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Month 12

Versant RN Residencies Program offers evidence-based resources and assigned topics for each session to support and guide the debriefer/mentor coaches and decrease the amount of preparation time before each session.

For any additional questions, please contact:

Supportive Component Co-Chairs:

Kelly Sodders, BSN, RN, NE-BC, Magnet Program Mgr, GSH, UVMC, & Fidelity, (937) 241-8990(937) 241-8990

Annette Drake, MS, RN, CRRN, CBIS, Magnet Program Mgr AMC & MVH/MVHS/MVH Jamestown, (937) 208-4611(937) 208-4611 or (513) 594-7588(513) 594-7588

Versant Nurse Resident Program Managers:

Kimberly Barton, RN, BSB/A, MSN, RN Residency Program Manager- GSH & UVMC, (937) 734-2430(937) 734-2430

Maria T. Cosler, MS, RN, RN Residency Program Manager- AMC/MVH, (937) 208-6265(937) 208-6265

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