Role Of The Nurse As Mentor

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The Role of the Nurse as Mentor and its Effectiveness in Facilitating Learning in Clinical Practice

The Role of the Nurse as Mentor and its Effectiveness in Facilitating Learning in Clinical Practice


Mentors and their protégés typically form a one-to-one relationship in which the mentor, older or more experienced than the protégé, facilitates upward mobility and provides advice, protection, and guidance. Mentors typically provide three types of support to their protégés. Vocational support enhances the career of the protégé by providing advice, sponsorship, or protection. Psychosocial support facilitates the social-emotional stability of the protégé by providing friendship, acceptance, and reassurance. Role modelling promotes growth of the protégé by demonstrating appropriate behaviour (Andrew and Clinton, 2000).


A mentor is a person who serves as a trusted counsellor or teacher, especially in occupational settings.

Research has shown that several factors relate to the propensity or willingness to serve as a mentor to others. One consistent finding is that someone with previous mentoring experience, either as a protégé or as a mentor, is more willing to be a mentor to others than someone with no previous mentoring experience. There is also evidence that dispositional factors relate to the willingness to mentor others. Individuals who possess a more pro-social personality (are generally helpful and empathetic toward others) are more likely to have experience as mentors and are more likely to report willingness to mentor others. In addition, internal locus of control and upward striving has been associated with willingness to mentor others. The relationship between gender and willingness to mentor others has also been examined. Although women have reported more barriers to becoming a mentor to others than have men, most research shows that they are equally willing to do so (Green, 2005).

The organizational environment can inhibit or facilitate mentoring relationships. Organizations can foster mentoring relationships by encouraging an organizational learning and development climate. Mentoring relationships are more likely to occur naturally when the organization cultivates an environment that encourages employees to actively learn from and teach one another (Hinchiff, 2004). This can be accomplished by recognizing and rewarding the efforts of those who mentor others, providing opportunities for junior and senior employees to interact, and helping employees develop the tools needed for coaching and counselling others.

A limited amount of research has examined mentor individual differences that relate to the degree of mentoring provided. One study has found that individuals higher in openness to experience report providing more mentoring than those lower in openness to experience. Learning goal orientation by mentors (the propensity to view challenges as opportunities for growth and development) also has been positively linked with mentoring provided. Recent research has examined the motives that mentors report for mentoring others and how this relates to mentoring behaviour. Mentors motivated to mentor others for self-enhancement reasons appear to be more likely to provide career-related mentoring, whereas mentors motivated by the intrinsic satisfaction that mentoring brings report providing more psychosocial mentoring (Schwiebert, 2008).

In addition to examining the impact of mentor-protégé similarity in terms of ...
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