Nursing academics have called for a debate on the future of nurse mentorship.
Researchers at the National Nursing Research Unit at King’s College London have asked whether it is time to “rethink the role of mentor in nurses’ careers”.
They suggest that a separate career pathway could be developed for nurses who want to specialise in education, noting that mentoring can be a challenging task that requires substantial clinical experience and confidence.
They said becoming a mentor had long been regarded as an important step in nurse career development and was essential for promotion in many organisations. But they warned this meant nurses may become mentors for reasons other than interest in nurse education.
They added that the quality of mentorship could suffer if undertaken by nurses without a “genuine interest” in student education, while noting that staff could be excellent nurses “without the aptitude or desire to be mentors”.
Is it necessary for all nurses to be mentors? What do you think?