Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice - Sheboygan, WI

Mentoring the Next Generation of Registered Nurses

As reported by the American Association of Colleges in Nursing, “the shortage of Registered Nurses (RN’s) is expected to intensify as Baby Boomers age and the need for health care grows.”  Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice (SSRCH) is proud to be a part of the solution in meeting the shortage of RN’s by partnering with area nursing colleges and universities to offer shadowing experiences for student nurses.One such partnership is with Marian University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Capstone program. Marian’s Capstone program is an in depth experience that takes a significant commitment from the student, the organization and the RN volunteering to work with the student.

Marian’s Capstone is a required course for senior nursing students. It entails the students choosing a specialty area of interest and spending 150 hours working side-by-side with an RN and includes a quality project requirement and weekly evaluations by their RN Mentor. The one-on-one mentoring and number of hours spent with an RN is a significant and invaluable experience during the last semester of their senior year.

“As an alumna of Marian it is exciting for me to partner with them and to expose new nurses to a specialty nursing field that is not taught as in depth in the classroom. I am proud of our nurses that enthusiastically put in extra work and time mentoring the student nurses,” said Marie Rieger, RN BSN, Clinical Manager.  

This Fall Kathy Schultz, RN BSN and Ronda Oppenheimer, RN were the SSRCH registered nurses who dedicated their time to educating and mentoring the student nurses through their Capstone course.

“As a mentor I am able to share the knowledge that I have gained over many years of experience. If I can make even one nursing student better understand the nursing process I feel very rewarded,” said Kathy Schultz, RN. “With every student I mentor I make an agreement with them that I will teach them what I know- but they also need to teach me new things they are learning in college - so for me it is a win/win situation. “

Grace, a senior and student in the Marion Capstone Program was mentored by Kathy and Ronda. “I couldn’t have had better preceptors,” Grace expressed. “It really changed my perception of hospice. The amount of work and care for the patients and their families is incredible. I admire my preceptors very much and they give me something to aspire to.”

Sara Weber is the Executive & Marketing Assistant at Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice