Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

‘My mentor doesn’t like me’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I like to think I’m generally quite a likeable person but since starting placement in January I’m actually starting to question that! My mentor really seems to have taken a dislike to me.

“What makes it worse is that I now get really nervous around her because I know she doesn’t like me and then I forget everything I know and can’t answer simple questions and get too flustered to ask her when I don’t know something.

“Just to give you some examples – I was chatting at the nurses’ station to two HCAs on Monday and she came over and literally shouted at me in front of them and in front of a ward full of patients, calling me a gossip. It was honestly the first time I’d stopped all morning and she didn’t say anything to the HCAs who are actually being paid to work!

“Then I was helping her give a patient a bath and noticed that the patient was feeling exposed so went to get her a couple more towels so she could feel more covered. She actually didn’t say anything in front of the patient (which is a shame - I think she would have stood up for me!) but as soon as we were finished she told me I need to “learn the basics” and said I was being wasteful. Honestly, you’d think I’d started handing out medication the way she reacted! I was so embarrassed.

“I’m not going to win her over but any idea how I can challenge her perception of me – or at least ensure she gives me a fair assessment?!”

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

If you would like to post a question here, please contact We will publish first names only, but please let us know if you’d rather remain anonymous.



Readers' comments (8)

  • This is awful. I've had a similar experience with a mentor but not quite as bad. You need to speak up and explain to your ward manager that it's detrimental to your learning having her as your mentor and tell her you need a new mentor ASAP. Please speak up though because if you don't nothing will change. She may be like that with future students and by speaking up, it may prevent the same bad experience for other students too. Good luck.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Confidence comes with time and it's not going to develop with someone like that holding you back. If she treats you like this imagine what she's like to patients? 2 ways of dealing with this situation - direct to her call her out on her behaviour and ask her why she treats you so differently. Or, the most sensible option, your personal tutor. A friend of mine went straight to her tutor who contacted the ward and the ward manager commended the student for having the courage to do something about it. Don't let this woman ruin your dream of nursing.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It's such a shame that some mentors can make or break your experience of a placement. I would speak to the PEF for advice, you never know others may have had the same experience and not said anything. The mentor is not helping your learning, even constructive criticism is easier to take than rudeness and belittling you and her ability to mentor sounds very questionable! Obviously we can't get on with everyone but as a mentor she should know how to deal with such situations. Hope you get sorted!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm sorry your going through this. I went through something similar on my first ward placement. As others have said please bring this to either your practice education team or your personal tutor. It's not part of the NMC code to "get on with our mentors", your on placement to learn how to nurse your patients and the skills & professional values we get signed reflect that. Of course it helps when we do get on with mentors but no-one should put up with being shouted at in public in front of patients. Just imagine being a patient and witnessing this yourself? It's not on. Please report it. Good luck, you'll make an excellent nurse.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It seems to me your mentor may lack confidence and has poor communication skills. How is she feeling about being a mentor? Does she feel put upon, stressed, ill equipped? As difficult as you may find it, I suggest you request a meeting with her and the ward manager and tell them both how you are feeling; that you are there to learn from their expertise, however you need help and guidance, not public humiliation. Explain why you went to get extra towels; explain why you were chatting with the HCA's. They are human, they will appreciate you taking the time to communicate with them and you may see things from everyone's perspective, not just your own. The perhaps you can all learn from the experience.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Talk to the manager and to your tutor! Ask them to change your mentor!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Horrifying experience, I suggest you escalate this issue. You are there to learn and not to be humiliated.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Hi.just read your piece on article. I can sympathise with you I had a few mentors who were not interested, snooty, spoke to me like dirt, didn't have decency tolerance my name during my 12 week placements. One nurse tried telling me off in from a patient who had just returned from theatre and her family were present. I ended up asking her to leave room with me for a chat in staff room. She was not by any means a good mentor. She was toxic, unapproachable, with drawn, did not seem interested, seen me as extra pair hands to do jobs she didn't like doin, never explained anything to me when I asked a question.jist used get looked at like I was an idiot because didn't know answer to everything. night sat at home considering quiting I decided I'd had enough. I was there to learn she was there to teach guide and advise me
    So I reportedly because I did not want any other students to feel an go throughout I had done
    Since qualifying and being accompanied by students myself, I always try to guide support and encourage students. First thing I tell them "no question is avidly or irrelevant question.if you have a question please jist ask and if I don't have a answer I will looking it and get.out one." also have them engaging in procedures, assessments etc, discuss what they feel are there.tonight and weak areas an try to work on them. I never ask a student to do anything I would not do myself. Students far as I am concerned are an important part of whilst on placements within and their opinions and ideas count.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs