Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program for Local Health Department Directors of Nursing

The Office of the Chief Public Health Nurse, in partnership with the North Carolina Association of Public Health Nurse Administrators (NCAPHNA), is thrilled to announce this exciting opportunity! Meaningful Mentorship is a structured mentorship program for Local Health Department (LHD) Directors of Nursing (DONs). DON is defined as the Public Health Nurse who serves as the LHD Lead Nurse Administrator.

A strong and well-trained workforce is vital to local health departments’ success in ensuring their communities’ health. The national Public Health Workforce Interests and Needs Survey (PHWINS) in 2019 reported that almost 30% of Supervisors and Managers expressed their intention to retire or leave the organization in the next five years. This poses a critical challenge for us to recruit and retain new professionals in the Public Health workforce. While having professionals new to public health is an opportunity, they must acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to function effectively in this specialty area. Mentorship is a promising strategy to approach this challenge! Mentoring empowers, engages, and encourages our workforce, increasing job satisfaction and career development. By supporting our incoming nurse leaders in their new roles, we aim to uplift our PHN workforce and reduce turnover and attrition.

 In Fall 2022, all Local health department DONs were invited to participate in Focus Groups regarding a potential mentorship program.  We heard from many of you and your responses made it clear that most of you have not had formal mentorship experiences but have found value in the support network of NCAPHNA.  While NCAPHNA remains a helpful and supportive network, the overwhelming consensus was that having a structured mentorship program available when DONs transition to their new role would give them more direct support and augment their knowledge and skill development.

We need YOU to partner with us in bringing this Meaningful Mentorship program to life!

What is the purpose of Meaningful Mentorship?

This structured mentoring program aims to pair experienced DONs with less experienced or novice DONs to provide support, coaching, and connection opportunities. Once paired, the mentors and mentees will be oriented and provided basic guidelines for the relationship. This structured program requires a commitment of at least 1 hour/per month for a minimum of six months. The mentor/mentees will work toward agreed-upon goals, professional growth, and connection to resources.

Who is eligible to become a Mentor or Mentee?
  1. If you are an experienced (at least one year) DON interested in fostering professional growth, coaching, and supporting a less experienced DON in their role, please apply to be a Mentor!
  2. If you are a less experienced DON who would like to learn, grow, and become more confident in your role as DON, please apply to be a Mentee!
How do I apply?

Complete the Mentor or Mentee application link below! All shared information will be kept confidential.

How will mentors/mentees be paired?

Potential mentors and mentees will come from LHDs across the state. The advisory committee is committed to pairing based on needs and strengths (shared on applications), as well as availability. An advisory committee member will contact the applicant to discuss pairing options.

Will mentors need training?

An orientation session for mentors and mentees will be required at the beginning of the program.  NCPD contact hours will be provided upon completion of the orientation session. The orientation session will cover guidelines for establishing goals, boundaries for the mentor/mentee relationship, and suggestions for learning activities. For the program’s evaluation and ongoing success, you will be asked to complete an evaluation at the completion of the six-month commitment.

Who do I contact for questions?

 For questions, please contact Maria Turnley at or call 919-896-4855.

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