MENTORSHIP IN NURSING - BY AISHATU ABUBAKAR

MENTORSHIP IN NURSING
Aishatu Abubakar
INTRODUCTION
Mentoring is a vital process in nursing; it is a means for experienced nurses to orient and to facilitate acclimation of novice nurses to their new role. This process involves the art and science of guiding another through the purposeful actions of inspiring, coaching, teaching, directing, and leading an individual to a new place of cognition (Barker, 2006: Metcalfe, 2010). Nurses teach and help other nurses by mentoring, which is crucial to maintain competency, encourage professional expertise, and promote leadership.

DEFINITION OF MENTORING
Mentoring is most often defined as a professional relationship in which qn experienced person (the mentor) assist another (the mentoree) in developing specific skills and knowledge that will enhance the less experienced person's professional and persoal growth.

IMPORTANT OF MENTORING IN NURSING.



Nursing mentorship helps cultivate leaders, retain employees and diversify the workforce


In a nursing mentorship, a more experienced nurse acts as a guide, expert and role model for a new or less-experienced nurse. Whether you are a new graduate from a BSN program or a seasoned pro, a mentoring relationship can help you develop new skills and advance your career.

According to the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses, “Mentoring is a reciprocal and collaborative learning relationship between two, sometimes more, individuals with mutual goals and shared accountability for the outcomes and success of the relationship.” The Academy states that mentoring can guide nurses in their professional, personal and interpersonal growth.

1. Mentoring is especially useful in helping orient new nurses in the healthcare world, improve their self-confidence, understand moral and ethical issues and develop real-world skills not covered in nursing school. Mentoring helps more experienced nurses move into leadership positions and shift the focus of their careers.

2.Mentorship Is Good for the Profession
According to The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “Mentoring helps cultivate nurse leaders, retain nurses, and diversify the nursing workforce.” By strengthening the nursing workforce, nursing mentorship improves the quality of patient care and outcomes. The Foundation identifies three specific benefits:

3.Mentoring can foster the leadership skills that nurses need to secure larger roles in developing, designing and delivering health care.

Mentoring relationships inside healthcare organizations and academic institutions can help those organizations retain nurses and nurse educators, reducing the cost of turnover.
Mentoring can help diversify the mostly white and female profession by supporting minority and male nurses. 

This diversification can lead to fewer health disparities within the population by providing diverse role models.


MENTORING CYCLE
The mentee may pass through five levels of proficiency during their acquisition and development of skills: "novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and expert." (Benner, 2004). A mentor may delineate these stages by recognizing a mentee's milestones in clinical practice. 

A mentee starts as a novice, and gains experience learning and communicating with their mentor. The novice mentee passes to advanced-beginner mentee, and, eventually with time, the mentee may progress and acquire sufficient skills to become an expert practitioner and mentor.

WHO IS A MENTOR?
The NMC definition of a mentor is a person who 'facilitates learning, and supervises and assesses students in a practice setting' (NMC, 2008, p.45).

QUALITY OF A GOOD MENTOR

1. Willingness to share skills, knowledge, and expertise;
A good mentor is willing to teach what he/she knows and in accept the mentee where they currently are in their professional development. Good mentors can remember what it was like just starting out in the field. The mentor does not take the mentoring relationship lightly and understands that good mentoring requires time and commitment and is willing to continually share information and their ongoing support with the mentee.

2. Demonstrates a positive attitude and acts as a positive role model;
A good mentor exhibits the personal attributes it takes to be successful in the field. By showing the mentee what it takes to be productive and successful, they are demonstrating the specific behaviors and actions required to succeed in the field.

3. Takes a personal interest in the mentoring relationship;
Good mentors do not take their responsibility as a mentor lightly. They feel invested in the success of the mentee. Usually this requires someone who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and possesses the attributes of a good teacher or trainer.

Excellent communication skills are also required. A good mentor is committed to helping their mentees find success and gratification in their chosen profession. Overall good mentoring requires empowering the mentee to develop their own strengths, beliefs, and personal attributes.

4. Exhibits enthusiasm in the field;
A mentor who does not exhibit enthusiasm about his/her job will ultimately not make a good mentor. Enthusiasm is catching and new employees want to feel as if their job has meaning and the potential to create a good life.

5. Values ongoing learning and growth in the field;
Mentors are in a position to illustrate how the field is growing and changing and that even after many years there are still new things to learn. Anyone that feels stagnant in their current position will not make a good mentor. When starting out in a new career, people want to feel that the time and energy they spend learning will be rewarded and will ultimately provide them with career satisfaction. Good mentors are committed and are open to experimenting and learning practices that are new to the field.

They continually read professional journals and may even write articles on subjects where they have developed some expertise. They are excited to share their knowledge with new people entering the field and take their role seriously in teaching their knowledge to others. They may choose to teach or attend classes to further develop their knowledge and skills. They enjoy taking workshops and attending professional conferences provided through their membership in professional associations.

6. Provides guidance and constructive feedback;
One of the key responsibilities of a good mentor is to provide guidance and constructive feedback to their mentee. This is where the mentee will most likely grow the most by identifying their current strengths and weaknesses and learning how to use these to make themselves successful in the field.

A good mentor possess excellent communication skills and is able to adjust their communication to the personality style of the mentee. A good mentor will also provide the mentee with challenges that will foster professional development and a feeling of accomplishment in learning the field.

7. Respected by colleagues and employees in all levels of the organization;
Ideally mentees look up to their mentors and can see themselves filling the mentor’s role in the future. Mentees want to follow someone who is well respected by colleagues and co-workers and whose contribution in the field is appreciated.

8. Sets and meets ongoing personal and a professional goals.
A good mentor continually sets a good example by showing how his/her personal habits are reflected by personal and professional goals and overall personal success.

9. Values the opinions and initiatives of others;
A mentor who values others is also someone who works well in a team environment and is willing to share his/her success. A good mentor appreciates the ongoing effort of the mentee and empowers him/her through positive feedback and reinforcement

10. Motivates others by setting a good example.


BARRIER TO MENTORING
Not all mentor-mentee relationships are successful. Barriers to a successful mentor-mentee relationship may be due to:
1.lack of faculty sensitivity.
2.lack of academic preparation.
3. cultural miscommunication.
4. feelings of isolation.
5.fear of failure.
6.difficulty in establishing peer relationships, and 
7.lack of professional role models. 

Problems may occur if the mentor or mentee are unable to maintain the commitment or lose communication due to responsibilities or a career change (Billings & Kowalski, 2008).

The relationship will not survive if it is one sided or grossly imbalanced. Both parties must participate and contribute to its success while maintaining a focus on the goal—mentee success. Open communication or scheduled meetings using traditional face-to-face meetings, email, texting, internet, or virtual meetings contribute to the relationship's success.

It is the responsibility of the mentee to abandon a harmful partnership and seek out a more suitable mentor. Mentors have differing personalities, and not every partnership will break apart without issues. Incivility is not tolerated in the workplace, nor is a behavior model for nurses.


CONCLUSION
In conclusion a nurse mentor may be anyone who can help you hone your nursing skills and develop your career, including a nurse educator, advisor or trusted friend,and 
Nurse mentors often provide more than daily guidance in nursing and can help you make important career decisions.My advice to all Nurses and student nurses here is to have a nurse mentors or be a mentor. 
The following strategies are the most common means of finding a good mentor:
Participation in a formal mentoring program
Talking to teachers
Finding a mentor online
Observing nurses at work
Speaking to key personnel

Thank you Nurse Aishatu Abubakar for this beautiful presentation.

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