WWC review of this study

Randomized controlled trial of graduate-to-undergraduate student mentoring program.

Kim, S. C., Oliveri, D., Riingen, M., Taylor, B., & Rankin, L. (2013). Journal of Professional Nursing, 29(6), e43-e49.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: July 2021

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Academic achievement outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Nursing Fundamentals course performance

Graduate-to-undergraduate student mentoring vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
51 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 96%
    Male: 4%

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  • Race
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  • Ethnicity
    Not Hispanic or Latino    


The study is set in a private, four-year school of nursing located in southern California that has its own graduate nursing program. The participants were undergraduate nursing students in their first semester of the baccalaureate nursing program who were enrolled in the required entry-level nursing fundamentals course. The mentors were graduate-level nursing students at the same university.

Study sample

Students were an average of 20 years old. Almost all students were female (96%), three-quarters (75%) were White, 6% were Asian, and 2% were Black. About 16% were Hispanic. Ninety percent of students had a high school diploma as their highest degree and the remaining 10% of students had an Associate's degree. Nearly 71% had no previous health care experience. Students had an average cumulative GPA of 3.31.

Intervention Group

The mentor program had an initial two-hour training, an icebreaker session for all mentees and mentors, and mentor-mentee dyad interactions during the semester. The mentor-mentee dyad interactions consisted of up to 20 hours of informal face-to-face interactions as well as E-mentoring methods outside the clinical setting. E-mentoring methods included phone calls, text messages, emails, or Facebook interactions. The mentors were instructed to provide emotional support, help socialize mentees into the nursing profession, and serve as role models. They were not allowed to do any tutoring or help with class assignments. Mentors submitted confidential written journals discussing the meetings, barriers or facilitators of the process, and total contact hours. They received up to a 20-hour credit towards their clinical hour requirements for the master of science in nursing.

Comparison Group

The students in the comparison group did not receive any mentoring.

Support for implementation

Mentors received a two-hour mentorship training session led by two of the study authors. During the session, the leaders reviewed mentor-mentee dyad role expectations, mentoring phases, effective mentoring skills, interpersonal relationship building, communication skills, and conflict resolution. Over the course of the semester, mentors kept a journal describing their contacts and interactions with mentees, but the journal was not monitored or checked until the end of the semester. There was no monitoring of mentors.


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