Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Renee Colsch


Doctor of Nursing Practice


A large academic medical center was experiencing higher than national benchmark voluntary turnover rates and lower than national benchmark employee engagement results. Additionally, this medical center’s goal was to improve the culture of safety within the organization while ensuring a just culture and an adequate support structure existed for its employees. A gap was identified in the intermediary support structure for this medical center’s employees –the lack of a peer supporter program. Departments representing a majority of clinical care at this medical center were included in the development and implementation of this peer supporter program. The goal of this program was to improve employee’s perceptions of organizational support via the Second Victim Experience Support Tool (SVEST) survey and improve voluntary turnover. Operations leaders identified frontline staff to serve as peer supporters based on established criteria. This peer supporter program saw variable utilization from initiation through the evaluation phase of this project. This variation was due to many factors including impacts of a pandemic. Although evaluation data did not show statistical significance following the implementation of the peer supporter program, anecdotal feedback from peers who received support through this program was positive. Both frontline staff and the peer supporters indicated value in the interactions and support provided, sharing they were glad to see the organization working to find additional ways to support frontline workers. The anecdotal evidence aligns with the data existent in the literature from other programs across the United States. Frontline staff desire the support of their peers over all other modalities. With organizations working to improve the culture of safety while also maintaining a just culture, it is imperative that organizations work to provide support to their staff in the manner the staff desire.

Available for download on Monday, September 11, 2023