Starting a nursing career in the UK can be overwhelming, as textbooks can only give theoretical knowledge, basically preparing for the classroom and conference. However, with years of experience, a nurse will be prepared for most of the unexpected situations that might occur during nursing.
Rather than developing proficiency through trial and error and lessons learned over time, nursing mentorship can benefit the nurse mentor, the mentee, and the organisation.
In this article, we will be looking into what nursing mentorship is, how it benefits mentees, mentors, and organisations, what are the barriers in setting up a mentor-mentee relationship and why it is important.
Nurse mentorship is a synergetic relationship between a new nurse (the mentee) and an experienced nurse (the mentor). Nurse mentoring courses are designed to promote mutual professional development for both the mentor and the mentee through a dynamic and supportive relationship.
A mentor's role is to guide a mentee through daily guidance and support them in the development of nursing skills. This one-on-one interaction between the mentor and the mentee will help the new nurse ask questions and clarify doubts so that they can get a better understanding of the social and professional inner workings of the healthcare industry in the UK. The overall goal of a nursing mentorship is to provide professional guidance to new nurses in adapting to their work environment, teaching practical nursing skills, and inspiring them to become better nurses.
There are a variety of ways in which nurses can enrol in or participate in nursing mentorship programmes. Students enrolled in nursing schools can form professional ties with professors or nursing educators. These relationships may help mentees gain potential internship opportunities. Furthermore, mentees can ask their professors for permission to shadow them while they work in labs or hospitals.
In situations where a student is not able to connect with their professors or is hesitant to ask for mentorship, they can contact their academic adviser to see if there are any internships available.
Another way new nurses can join a nursing mentorship programme is through their employers. In some of the healthcare facilities in the UK, the Human Resources department will match new nurses with experienced ones so that they can mentor and educate them. Even in some cases, mentees will be allowed to select a mentor of their choice.
Once a mentee is matched with a mentor, they will discuss their goals and what they expect to gain from their work relationship. If the healthcare facility does not have a formal nursing mentorship programme, fresh nurses can still ask the Human Resources department to provide them with an opportunity. They can even ask seniors if they can shadow them.
Finally, new nurses can network with other nurses online to find new possibilities.
Whatever nursing career stage a nurse professional is at, there are various importance to having a nurse mentorship in the UK. Nurses who participate in nursing mentorship programmes are less likely to experience overwhelming workplace stress, which leads to increased nursing job satisfaction and retention. Nursing mentorship programmes are important for the financial stability of healthcare organisations in the UK. Furthermore, nursing mentorship programmes help train fresh nurses to be future leaders, which in turn helps the healthcare organisation save time and money recruiting nurses for open senior positions.
These programmes frequently reveal the vulnerabilities and educational gaps of new nurses, which must be addressed and remedied through a fruitful mentee-mentor relationship. The nursing mentorship also helps the healthcare facility save money on training a new employee. As a result of having mentors on whom they can rely in times of tension or uncertainty, nurses will also feel confident in their ability to perform their duties.
Even nursing mentors and nurse educators benefit from nursing mentorship programmes. Mentors are responsible for teaching policies and procedures to new nurses, which helps them gain further insight into the processes and procedures that exert a positive or negative influence on daily workflow. Mentors can implement new policies and procedures to manage and rework the overall workflow based on this knowledge.
Furthermore, mentors get a chance to update and sharpen their own nursing skills while training new nurses. It could be policies and procedures that mentors have overlooked in the past, or it could be technical skills that they would like to refine through practise and instruction. In a nutshell, the mentor-mentee relationship that might last for years fosters growth and mutually benefits both parties.
There are various benefits a mentee can obtain through a nursing mentorship, including:
1. Obtain direction from a role model.
2. Gain higher career satisfaction.
3. Feel less burdened by their job.
4. Develop problem-solving skills.
5. Gain an understanding of nursing roles and specialties.
6. Identify career advancement opportunities.
7. Expand your network of nurses.
8. Reduce the anxiety associated with role transitions.
9. Receive ongoing direction, assistance, and counsel.
Not only the mentee but also the mentor benefit from the nursing mentorship programmes, including:
1. Rekindle your interest in nursing.
2. Solicit feedback regarding current policies and procedures.
3. Acquire a new perspective on current nursing trends.
4. Evaluate your communication skills to identify what is ineffectual, unclear, or deceptive.
5. Assist in the career development of another nurse while you develop your own.
6. Provide support for the next generation of nurses.
7. Recognise and gain insight from generational differences.
8. Contribute to a positive work environment.
By encouraging and implementing nursing mentorship programmes, the healthcare setting also benefits, including:
1. Displays support for continuing education in nursing
2. Conveys the organisation's willingness to embrace change
3. Improves nurse recruitment and retention
4. Offers succession planning that ensures an awareness of a company's history and mission
5. Promotes improved teamwork by emphasising overall goals
6. Contributes to the provision of high-quality patient care and improved patient outcome. Finds and develops prospective nurse leaders
Nurses may encounter problems with their mentors and be forced to terminate the relationship. Possible explanations include the mentee's lack of support or the mentor's lack of the desired skill set. Other obstacles include:
1. Cultural differences or misunderstandings
2. Incapable of sustaining the relationship.
3. Inadequacy of preparation
4. Career shifts
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