MPD Mentoring: From the Start to the Finish Line

It’s not easy being a Magnet® Program Director (MPD).

Managing the multifaceted, complex framework of the Magnet® journey can be overwhelming at times – particularly for novice MPDs.

Ideally, the new MPD would have extensive education and support. However, because it is a one-of-a-kind role, training for new MPDs is often not available.

At the prompting of clients facing this challenge, Tipton Health Communication recently developed, tested and launched an MPD Mentoring Service to fill the learning void. Early results show that the program is helping new MPDs better understand their roles and accelerate their contributions to the nursing program.

“This experience really solidified the roles and responsibilities (for our MPDs) as well as helping them understand that they are the voice of nursing excellence and the Magnet Journey at their hospital,” said Paula Coe, DNP, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, vice president of Nursing Education and Professional Practice for the Allegheny Health Network.

Experienced MPDs on Tipton’s consulting team are paired with new MPDs through the program to not only provide training, but also a supporting voice whenever needed. The service is customized (Iike all Tipton’s services) to the MPD’s and the hospital’s unique needs, but generally follows these steps.

  • First, the organization completes a comprehensive assessment of the roles and responsibilities of the MPD at the organization. This will help identify the priorities of the mentoring relationship.
  • Tipton’s MPD mentor will then begin doing “pre-work” with the MPD mentee to start the relationship strong and provide immediate learning opportunities.
  • The MPD Mentoring Kickoff then follows. The kickoff consists of a 2-day on-site experience for the MPD(s) that includes a deep dive into all of the facets of the role. Core interprofessional team the organization’s pursuit of nursing excellence using the Magnet framework.
  • Following the kickoff sessions, the Tipton mentor and mentee will work together develop an individualized mentoring plan that focuses on the aspects of the MPD role that will best support the MPD.
  • Tipton’s MPD mentor will then provide one-on-one mentoring support to your MPD throughout the implementation of the mentoring plan.

Paula said she was interested in the Tipton service because she thought it not only provide immediate benefits, but would give Allegheny Health’s MPDS a resource they could turn to throughout their Magnet journeys.

“Throughout the mentoring process each MPD gained a sense of confidence that I hadn’t seen before,” Paula said.

Paula also mentioned that the 2-day onsite kickoff to the mentoring process helped her MPDs realize the internal organization support network they had to lean on in this role and how they could utilize each team member to their benefit.