Date of Paper/Work


Type of Paper/Work

Doctor of Nursing Practice Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice



First Advisor

Gwendolyn Short


Doctor of Nursing Practice


Background: According to the research, incorporating a peer support program provides novice nurses with the resources they require to assist them through the emotional and clinical challenges of their first year of practice. It facilitates the transition from orientation to post- orientation while increasing confidence, motivation, critical thinking, coping abilities, and self- esteem.

Purpose: The project goals are to increase nurse satisfaction and intent to stay by creating a community connected through similar experiences.

Methods: The Critical Care Nurse Peer Support Program was piloted in a 672-bed upper Midwest quaternary hospital. Registered nurses and board-certified integrated health and wellbeing coaches led 4-hour facilitator-guided sessions with cohorts of critical care new nurses at three, six, nine-, and 12-months post orientation. The updated Casey-Fink Survey was used to assess the effectiveness of the peer support program for incoming ICU nurses. To obtain baseline data, a prior cohort of 16 new ICU nurses who worked in the unit for 12 months post-orientation did not participate in the peer support program but did complete the survey.

Results: Data indicated a mean score of 78% for work satisfaction and 52% for intent to stay. When compared to no peer support program, both quantitative and qualitative results reveal that adopting a peer support program improves satisfaction and intent to stay for new ICU nurses. Future pilots should employ larger sample sizes to achieve credible outcome assessments.

Available for download on Sunday, June 29, 2025