Supporting The Failing Student, Accent On Mentorship, Role Of The Mentor In The Healthcare Setting, Nursing

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[Supporting the Failing Student, accent on Mentorship, role of the Mentor in the healthcare setting, nursing]


Thesis Statement

An important aspect of nursing education is to support and advice a student, who has failed in his nursing exam or practice to facilitate his career development. Experienced nursing professionals must provide the required guidance.


Mentorship is a process of bringing together a senior and a junior person, so that the senior takes the junior “under his or her wing” and offers guidance on a range of issues including career. A mentor is not necessarily the person's direct superior and need not even be a member of the same organisation. Many organisations (healthcare settings in this case), however, now have structured mentoring programs in which failed students with low self-esteem are formally assigned to experienced mentors for periodic assistance (Kirchner, 1969, 20).

Targeted Groups for Mentorship

For this paper, a group targeted for mentoring includes those with particular majors or career aspirations in the field of nursing. Several universities have utilised mentoring as a mechanism to attract and retain students in specific areas of study such as nursing and health sciences.

Mentoring Functions and Stages

Mentors provide two major functions to their protégés. Career-related functions focus on success and advancement within the organisation and include sponsorship, coaching, exposure and visibility, protection, and challenging assignments. Psychosocial functions focus on the enhancement of sense of identity, competence, and effectiveness in the professional role and include role modeling, acceptance and confirmation, counseling, and friendship. Empirical research based on factor-analytic studies supports the existence of these two overarching mentoring functions (Johnson, Huwe, 2002, 55).

Mentoring relationships are theorised to progress through four distinct stages over time. The first stage is initiation. In this stage, the mentor and the protégé are just beginning the relationship and learning about each other.

If the relationship matures into a mentorship, the second phase, known as cultivation, begins. This is the most active phase of the mentorship, during which the greatest amount of career and psychosocial mentoring is thought to be provided. It is during the cultivation phase that the most learning occurs. This is the longest phase of the mentorship and is expected to last from two to five years. As the needs of the mentor and the protégé evolve, the partnership enters the separation phase. During this phase, the protégé begins to assert independence, and the mentor comes to believe he or she has no additional knowledge to share with or guidance to provide to the protégé. This phase is thought to last from 6 to 24 months (Johnson, 2002, 88). The final phase of the mentoring relationship is referred to as redefinition. This is when the relationship changes into one of peers or colleagues. Little research has been conducted that provides a direct test of these phases. However, there is some evidence that psychosocial and career mentoring does increase from the initiation phase of the mentorship into the subsequent phases.

Factors affecting Mentorship Process

Protégé Attributes

Some research has indicated that dispositional characteristics relate to the likelihood that one ...
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