Date of Award

Fall 9-2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Marjorie Geisz-Everson

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Dr. Janie Butts

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 4

Dr. Nina McLain

Committee Member 4 Department



Evidence has shown that Student Registered Nurse Anesthetist’s (SRNAs) stress is perceived as above average and is correlated with substandard patient care during clinical courses (Chipas et al., 2012). Some studies have indicated SRNAs experience low self-efficacy during clinical, which could lead to difficulty in thinking clearly or responding to clinical situations (Imus, Burns, & Weglarz, 2017). Peer mentoring has shown to result in stress reduction and improvement in self-efficacy in students (Barker et al., 2012; Giordana & Wedin, 2010). Despite the current evidence, a nurse anesthesia program in the southeastern United States did not have an organized peer mentor program for SRNAs. The primary goal of this project was implementation of a sustainable SRNA peer mentor program at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) to possibly help alleviate stress, improve self-efficacy, and advance overall performance during the initiation of clinical. Another goal of the project was the adoption of a peer mentor policy by USM’s nurse anesthesia program to assure the continuation of the mentor program.

Twenty USM SRNAs from the 2018 cohort and 20 from the 2019 cohort were participants in the program. Handouts including a program overview, expectations, and what to avoid as a mentor/mentee were given to each cohort. The students were then strategically matched and revealed to each other. After three months of implementation, a program evaluation questionnaire was sent to the participants of both cohorts.

The results of the questionnaires revealed that the majority of the mentors and mentees reported positive findings to the questionnaire sections. Mentees largely reported that the program ran smoothly and would recommend the peer mentor program to others. Also, most mentees stated they would want to be a mentor to someone in the future. The majority of mentors also reported that the program ran smoothly, they would recommend the peer mentoring program to others and wished they had this at the start of their clinical experience. Upon receiving these positive findings, a peer mentoring policy was then proposed and accepted by the nurse anesthesia program faculty at USM. All of these results support the main goals of this project.