Tony Butterworth. Lynne Millward. Leadership in Health Care. Jill Barr. The Challenge of Problem-based Learning.
David Kinnell (Author of Mentoring Nursing and Healthcare Students)
David Boud. Mary Francis.
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Management and Leadership in Nursing and Health Care. Elaine La Monica Rigolosi. Curriculum Development in Nursing. To become a mentor you need to attend an NMC-approved mentorship course and be added to the local mentor register. Most universities offer a nurse mentorship module, usually lasting one semester.
The number of days varies by university but as a guide the academic commitment is usually equivalent to one day per week for around 12 weeks, often comprising of a mixture of classroom teaching, e-learning and portfolio work. You will need a registered mentor to provide a supporting role and assess your outcomes. Once registered as a mentor, to maintain registration you need to attend an annual update session each year and complete a triennial review, usually done as part of your normal appraisal process.
New nurses can attend mentorship training once they have been registered for one year. Within our area we have found that many practice nurses already have mentorship qualifications from earlier in their career and only require an update and the appropriate support or shadowing opportunities in order to go back onto the mentor register and begin taking students again. Student nurse placements vary in length depending on the university and their year of study.
Mentoring in Nursing and Healthcare: A Practical Approach
Students can also spend time during their placement with other clinicians and linked services, which is a great way of ensuring that they have a varied and multi-professional experience. In our experience mentors may not necessarily need altered appointment times when working with a student, but they will need protected time at the beginning, middle and end of the placement for reviews and completing documentation with the student. Creating an environment for learning is a key factor in the relationship and should involve as much feedback as possible from students and mentors to identify aspects of the learning environment that can be enhanced.
The whole multi-professional team should be involved in helping the students to identify learning needs and experiences that are appropriate to their level of learning. Through using a range of learning styles and experiences involving patients, relatives and other team members, inter-professional learning can truly exist and learning can be a two-way process.
The most important thing is to make learning fun. We feel passionate about primary care, and want to be able to share that passion with student nurses and facilitate them to learn in a different environment to hospitals. Being a mentor for students in primary care allows us to share the learning opportunities of a variety of skills, including chronic disease management, the developing and evolving relationships between families and practitioners, essential health promotion and the evolving delivery of care that is required in modern-day nursing. Students in primary care experience one-to-one mentoring and high quality learning opportunities which has a positive impact on knowledge and skills.
There are many benefits to becoming a mentor, both personal and as part of the wider picture. For the mentor it provides a good opportunity for personal development, and teaching others helps in keeping up-to-date with current practice. Students often bring enthusiasm and vibrancy to a team as well as two-way learning. In the current climate of a stretched and aging workforce, taking on students in primary care helps to secure an important part of the future workforce. Introducing them to these roles increases the number of students likely to consider primary care as a career of choice post-qualification.
5 Benefits of Mentorship in Nursing
Many general practices traditionally train doctors and medical students, so why not train student nurses too? Providing student placements is fundamental to attracting them to work in primary care and in challenging assumptions that there are limited opportunities for career progression in this area. I see mentoring as a duty, a professional obligation. Mentoring relationships provide opportunities to teach and learn. Mentees often gain self-confidence as they learn to trust in themselves both personally and professionally. This was certainly evident by the end of the program.
Seeing the personal and professional growth of each group I mentored was awe-inspiring. There is joy in watching nurse mentees develop professionally. Mentoring is a win-win situation and then some. The mentor, the mentee, the organization, and the healthcare industry at large all benefit from mentoring.
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