Mentorship is developmental partnership through which mentors share knowledge, skills, information and perspectives to foster the professional growth of their mentees. Why do we think mentorship is important in nursing?
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on Future of Nursing (2010) recommends mentoring as a means of maintaining competency and expertise in clinical practice
Mentoring is one of the best practices that increases readiness to practice and encourages retention of nurses as practitioners and as leaders. Mentorship is essential to sustainable healthcare as we build strong team members and strengthen the profession.
According to Baxley, Ibitayo, & Bond (2014) “Mentoring relationships provide a meaningful structure for nurturing nurses and equip them with the attributes necessary to influence health care around the world” (p. 143).
Mentorship is a mutually beneficial relationship that focuses on the future and involves abny of the following elements:
• Challenge: Process may be slow and repetitive which can be challenging to the expert mentor
• Trust: This is a necessary when making clinical decisions and a mentor should know when to stop the mentee and provide further discussions
• Respect: Professional boundaries should not be exceeded in a mentoring relationship
• Communication is necessary to ensure the understanding of expectations and limitations.
• Cultural influences / Diversity: Both mentor and mentee should appreciate the different personalities and culture they are bringing into the relationship.
Feedback should be objective and not subjective.
MENTORSHIP IN NURSING
Nurses should be prepared to serve from the bedside to the board room, mentor others along the way, develop leadership competencies and take active role in Policy.
As a professional group, nurses should:
– Shape Policy
– Make your voice count
– Serve on advisory committees and boards
– Individually, nurses must maintain a professional portfolio that demonstrates competence across borders
– Organizations like NursingWorld Nigeria, NANNNA (National Association of Nigerian Nurses in North America) and others should prepare future leaders and mentor others
– Systems like the licensing bodies, educational institutions should ensure professional engagements at local, national and international levels and should all be involved in mentoring
– Every nurse should make succession plans that will ensure the growth of younger colleagues and this can only be achieved through mentoring.
How can Nursingworld Nigeria be involved in mentorship at different levels?
“Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do”. Quote by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
How does this apply to us as nurses?
PROGRAMS FOR MENTORING
There are pre-requisites that prepare nurses as mentors. These programs prepare mentors for the teaching, coaching and communications roles required to support a mentee. Please let us take advantage of available resources on mentoring as available. Look through the following attachments and attend any of the webinars. They promise to be educative.
TYPES OF MENTORING
– Induction mentoring
– Peer mentoring
– Developmental mentoring
– Formal, Informal
Research has shown that most effective people may have different mentors for different areas of their professional and personal lives.
QUALITIES OF A GOOD MENTOR:
– Must believe in the mentee.
– Act as a role model and be approachable.
– See the mentee as a person.
– Assist mentee to develop achievable developmental goals
– Be ready to always play different roles: consultant, coach, counsellor, adviser, role model, critical friend,
– Be committed.
– Share your past experiences with your mentee
– Know that your mentee can be anyone, anywhere
– Good listening skills, promote critical thinking skills in your mentee
– Question sensitively but in an empowering manner to help mentees explore their own learning.
– Do not criticize but offer praise to encourage positive behaviors.
– Have your own mentor(s) and network.
– Be open to learn from your mentee also.
One good point here is that a mentor should have his or her own mentors and network.
There is no limit to learning so the mentor shoul be ready to keep researching and reaching out to colleagues/network for guidance. How many of us use Nursingworld as a learning point? How many of us reach out to other outlets to learn about what we do?
How can we achieve a good mentoring relationship?
– Ask yourself what you want from the relationship and find a mentor whose career path aligns with your goals or who complements your areas of weakness and work hard to get noticed
– Value your mentor`s time.
– Reflect on the learning and be ready to learn
– View feedback as a gift.
– Give your mentor constructive feedback
– Build trust with your mentor
– Look for mentors that can become sponsors
ADVANTAGES OF MENTORSHIP IN NURSING
– Empowers Positive Choices
– Encourages ownership of Learning
– Strengthens interpersonal skills and peer relationships thus preventing isolation which could lead to disconnect/disengagement and burn-out from care provision.
– Empowers nurses with clinical information, organizational skills and confidence.
– Promotes a competent nursing practice by influencing the quality of care
How many times in the course of our practice did we feel isolated and ready to quit?
A mentor should fill such gap.
BENEFITS TO THE MENTOR
– Fulfilment from helping others to succeed
– Ability to actively listen and also grow your own leadership and communication skills
– Practice of empathy and emotional intelligence
– Satisfaction from your own reliability testing, honesty to mentee, trustworthiness during the relationship and confidentiality styles during the mentoring process.
– Fulfilment on your ability to pass knowledge and expertise clearly, encouragingly and helpfully to another
CHALLENGES OF MENTORING
– The length of time
– The novice mentee
– Rigors of teaching and correcting
– Time the mentor will spend for the relationship can be challenging.
As in the proverb of “he who watereth will be watered”, let’s see the joy a mentor enjoys from being in a colleagues life.
Lots of fulfillment!!!
1. Baxley, S., Ibitayo, K. & Bond, M. L. (2014). Mentoring today’s nurses: A global perspective for success. Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International.
2. Burns,P. (2014). How systems work: Essential information for global mentors. In S. Baxley, K. Ibitayo, & M. L. Bond (Eds.). Mentoring today’s nurses: A global perspective for success. (pp.15-30). Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International.
3. Forrester, D. A. (2014). Challenges of the educational system. In S. Baxley, K. Ibitayo, & M. L. Bond (Eds.), Mentoring today’s nurses: A global perspective for success. (pp.53-73). Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International.
4. Gibson, T., & Heartfield, M. (2005). Mentoring for nurses in general practice: An Australian study. Journal of Interprofessional Care,19(1), 50–62. doi:10.1080/13561820400021742
5. Gray, J., Moreno, M., & Gallegos, E. (2014). Mentoring traditions throughout the world. In S. Baxley, K. Ibitayo, & M. L. Bond (Eds.), Mentoring today’s nurses: A global perspective for success. (pp. 109-121). Indianapolis: Sigma Theta Tau International.
6. Skills You Need (2018). What is Mentoring. Retrieved from https://www.skillsyouneed.com/learn/mentoring-skills.html
About the Author:
NGOZI FLORENCE MBIBI DNP, RNC, MA, FWAC, FAAN – 2016 NATIONAL PRESIDENT, NANNNA.
Dr. Ngozi Florence Mbibi started her Nursing and Midwifery career in Nigeria with nursing education at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu (UNTH), Midwifery at Bishop Shanahan, Nsukka, and her BSN in Nursing Education at the University of Ibadan. She worked as a Nurse Midwife, Nurse Educator, Nurse Consultant, Family Planning Provider, Clinical Service Resource Trainer and in other capacities for 24 years before relocating to USA in 2001 where she earned a dual Master of Arts degrees in Nursing Healthcare Leadership & Nursing Education at Bethel University Minnesota. She got the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in 2014 from the University of Minnesota. She is an Ob Certified RN and an on-line education coach for major universities offering nursing education in the USA. She is a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing and a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.