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Should all nurses be mentors?


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?


Readers' comments (2)

  • No, I do not think all nurses should be mentors. I have recently completed my 'workplace learning facilitation' course (what a mouthfull) and don't think it taught me 'how' to mentor at all. Although I have been qualified 4 years now I still feel unprepared and unconfident in the role. I was very lucky when training in having very experienced senior nurses as mentors, and their calm confidence instilled great respect in me. I try to emulate them as much as I can but I think seniors should oversee new mentors until they have some experience and feel confident in what is an extremely responsible job.

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  • 28 November 2013

    NO, Lets bring back the clinical teachers in the wards, in the acute hospitals including the lecturers from the university and colleges. They should mentor nursing students since they design the curriculum which is theoretical and practical. They are more knowledgeable, do not get me wrong most of them hold master degrees and PhDs. Also they are well compensated for their troubles.

    The current situation in an acute setting, teaching and learning is NOT well supported by the hospital. It will take a LOT of support from the top if you want nurses to be mentors.

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