The Nightingale Fellows Project




Professional nurses mentoring graduating McGill students transitioning into clinical practice

First established in 2017 by ISoN faculty members Lia Sanzone and Mélanie Lavoie-Tremblay, the Nightingale Fellows Project is a group mentorship experience for ISoN students in their final year of studies. The goal of the program is to help students have an easier time transitioning to the workplace after they graduate.

Students who register for the program are put in small groups of 6-8 students, and each group is assigned one or more nurse mentors, all of whom are nurses currently working in hospitals in Montreal. The mentors meet virtually with their group 4 times throughout the winter semester, and talk to the mentees about what to expect in their first job after nursing school. Each mentorship session covers a different topic, and includes case scenarios that cover different situations the mentees may encounter as a new nurse graduate.

Topics covered in the sessions include the OIIQ exam, how to find employment opportunities and be successful in job interviews, time management and prioritizing care, dealing effectively with feedback, getting along with coworkers, and self-care and avoiding burnout.


Preparing nurse graduates for a successful transition

To date, over 250 ISoN students have participated in this initiative. Mentees have reported that the program has provided them with several benefits, including:

•Knowing what to expect when you go into the workplace
•Advice/tips for how to deal with different types of challenges
•Learn things that don’t get talked about in your courses
•Feel more confident, less overwhelmed/stressed when you start working
•Normalizes feelings of stress and anxiety about being a new nurse
In the words of one mentee, “[The Nightingale Fellows Project] has given me insight about real life situations and ways to deal with them. I also found myself more confident entering the workplace.”
To learn more:

 Nightingale Fellows Project 2021 Presentation



Lavoie-Tremblay, M., Sanzone, L., Primeau, G., & Lavigne, G. L. (2019). Group mentorship programme for graduating nursing students to facilitate their transition: A pilot study. Journal of Nursing Management, 27(1), 66-74. doi:10.1111/jonm.12649

Lavoie-Tremblay, M., Sanzone, L., Aubé, T., Bigras, C., Cyr, G., & Primeau, G. (2020). A university/healthcare institution mentorship programme: improving transition to practice for students. Journal of Nursing Management, (2020).

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