One of country’s most senior nurses has called for a “renewed focus” on the role of mentors and the mentoring process.
Janice Sigsworth, director of nursing at Imperial College Healthcare, the largest NHS trust in England, said the results of Nursing Times’ survey were “concerning” and suggested some “undesirable” practice.
Ms Sigsworth said she was not aware of problems at her own trust but said the survey results, based on responses from nearly 2,000 nurse mentors, showed the area would “benefit from a renewed focus”.
She told Nursing Times: “It’s very difficult to fail a student because someone might want a career in nursing and that could be terminated if they are failed. It needs support from the senior nursing team to show it’s the right decision.”
Commenting on the survey finding that 37 per cent of mentors had passed students they believe were either poor or should not pass at all, Ms Sigsworth said at Imperial, mentors were told to think of students as potential future colleagues. “So by passing students, mentors are potentially passing a future colleague and member of staff,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, which issued guidance on mentoring in July 2008, told Nursing Times the guidance would be reviewed later this year.
Nurse mentoring needs 'renewed focus'