Mentoring in Nursing
Obtain at least 5 articles journal articles about mentoring in nursing. At least one of the five must focus on the following:
- PURPOSE of
- ROLES of mentoring - what a mentor does
- SKILLS needed by a mentor
According to an article by Dr. David T. Stern entitled “Can Professionalism Be Taught?” (2003), teaching through example cannot be underestimated. Stern refers to this teaching through example as “the hidden curriculum”. He writes “The values of the profession may be idealized in lectures, but they are demonstrated and reinforced in the real-life setting of the hospital” (paragraph 3). Therefore, teaching the values in a rote manner in the classroom is thought to have less effect than an instructor setting a professional example. Instructors need to be mindful of this and model professionalism during every teachable moment, instead of just lecturing about it.
Role-modeling alone is insufficient when it is not accompanied by instruction, however. Stern (2003) relates that when you demonstrate a behavior that you want students to model, you should point out what you are doing, and then perhaps lead a discussion as to why you are doing it. In his article Stern uses the example of washing one’s hands before attending to a patient: “The ensuing discussion might bring up a number of rationales, and I could guide the discussion in such a way as to ensure that my intended role modeling was pulled from the hidden to the explicit curriculum”. This method could work in both the field and the classroom, especially if students are encouraged to use role playing.
Be sure to include critical reflections in your research paper, such as the following:
- What is a mentor
- How is a mentor role similar to and different from a preceptor? coach? teacher?
- What is the value of a mentor?
- What are the ideal conditions of a mentorship in the nursing practice and what are the ideal conditions specifically needed for your as a nurse practitioner.
You can also do comparisons of ideas and concepts. Be sure to do the following:
- Comparison of ideas/concepts are presented with clarity, precision, and with adequate depth and breadth
- Differentiation of ideas and concepts are logical and relevant
- Relevance and significant to your professional practice as a nurse practitioner is analyzed
These concepts, especially the idea of instructors upholding themselves as mentors and role models, can be used in any nursing class, not just nursing classes that are built around teaching ethics. Professionalism is most effectively taught by example, and measured by then observing how students interact and react in either a real world or role playing setting. Instructors should always strive to be setting good examples by being their personal best, engaging students in frequent discussions about why certain behaviors are important, and encouraging students to develop mentoring relationships with their instructors or other experienced nurses. Dr. Stern (2003) writes, “Professionalism can be taught in the hidden curriculum by encouraging and allowing faculty, residents, and… students to have conversations about real life events”. The consensus amongst experts in the medical field appears to be that experience and observation are the two best teachers, rather than lecturing or traditional tests, when it comes to developing professionalism in nursing.