Clinical Mentorship Program at Christian Living Communities

Through CLC’s Clinical Mentorship Program, all clinical team members enjoy the guidance and friendship of a trained mentor for their first year at CLC. It has made a significant difference in the quality of care that older adults receive and the retention of highly trained team members both within CLC communities and nationwide 

Improving Clinical Retention Rates

The mentorship program began in 2012 when Pat McBride, Vice President of Clinical and Compliance, was working to address CLC’s dismal 49% clinical retention rate. CLC now enjoys an 87% overall clinical retention rate with the program’s implementation.

Clinical mentor and mentee smiling“We created a replicable program complete with training materials, leadership tools, best practices, and policies. But, more than that, we really work to help community leaders understand that the key to clinical workforce retention is how we welcome new team members. Central to its success is creating a “best friend” or mentor at work that is active through at least the first full year of employment,” shared McBride.

Read how our Clinical Mentorship Program is being shared with nearly 3,000 clinical team members across the state of Wisconsin

How the Clinical Mentorship Program Works

The program model begins with a mentor recruitment and screening effort, training, and incentive program. Newly trained mentors are matched with new hire “mentees” who will receive support from their mentor for an entire year. The mentor/mentee relationship covers training topics. Still, the real magic happens in providing a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on when the job may feel overwhelming.

Clinical mentor and mentee working togetherOver the years, Nathalie Knopp, CLC’s Director of Clinical Staff Development, has seen first-hand the difference the program makes. “We believe caring for older adults is sacred work, but it can also be taxing work emotionally, physically, and mentally,” shares Knopp. “So having someone who is specially trained in adult learning and healthcare worker emotional support best practices is a game changer when it comes to retaining the best talent in a very competitive labor market.”

Helping Others Adopt the Clinical Mentorship Program

Wanting to share this success with others, CLC has presented and continues to present the mentorship program at numerous senior living conferences. We gladly help other senior living providers who want to adopt the program through our Cappella consulting services.