Ways to Support Mentorship in Nursing

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Written by Ayana Dunn, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
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Reviewed by Morganne Skinner, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
An experienced nurse mentoring a younger nurse.

Mentorship in nursing benefits the nurse mentor, mentee, and the facilities in which they work. It plays an important role in ensuring a fruitful and long-lasting career for new nurses. Below, we’ll explain what this means, how it benefits all parties, and share some ways to foster these relationships at work.

What Is Nurse Mentorship?

Nurse mentorship is a professional relationship between a new or less experienced nurse and an experienced nurse. The nurse mentor guides and supports the novice to ensure a smooth and successful transition into the field.

Why Is Mentorship Important in Nursing?

The benefits of nurse mentorship are far-reaching. Mentorship programs not only strengthen novice nurses, but also nurse mentors and facilities. These benefits combine to help the nursing industry overall. Below are some examples of how each group profits from nurse mentorship.

How Can Mentorship in Nursing Support a Newer Nurse?

Being a new nurse presents many stressors. In addition to acclimating to a facility’s policies and work culture, you must learn information specific to multiple patients while under stress. On top of that, your actions could have lasting impacts on your patients’ lives. Wouldn’t it be nice to feel supported by a guide through all of this?

Although newer nurses are far from the only people who benefit from nurse mentorship, their potential rewards are the most obvious.

  • Increases desire to remain in nursing
  • Builds their professional network
  • Offers psychological and emotional support
  • Provides strong foundation for nursing career

How Can Mentorship in Nursing Support an Experienced Nurse?

At a glance, becoming a nurse mentor may appear to be nothing more than extra work, but that’s untrue. Nurse mentorship is helpful to experienced nurses as well. Here are a few possible positive outcomes:

  • Prompts mentors to brush up on skills
  • Reveals policies and procedures that work well (and those that don’t)
  • Develops their professional network and can feel fulfilled by guiding the next generation of nurses
  • Shows what it’s like to be a nurse educator

How Can Mentorship in Nursing Support a Facility?

Facilities enjoy the cumulative benefits of both new and experienced nurses. That’s because mentorship can contribute to a happier and more confident nursing staff overall:

  • Lowers staff turnover rates
  • Improves nursing care
  • Enhances policies and procedures through mentor feedback
  • Fosters a healthier work culture

How to Mentor New Nurses

Now that you see the gifts nurse mentorship has to offer, you might be wondering how to pass on what you’ve learned as an experienced nurse. Here are some ways to incorporate mentorship into your workday.

1. Lend a Helping Hand to Struggling Nurses

When you’re able, assist new nurses with tasks when asked. Or, if you observe them struggling with catheterization, IV medications, or other nursing tasks, support them to create valuable learning opportunities. Of course, this depends on your workflow.

2. Make It Clear That You’re Open to Questions

You wouldn’t be the experienced nurse you are today without asking a ton of questions in the beginning of your career. The same goes for everyone else. When new nurses are comfortable with asking their coworkers questions, they can learn faster and reduce the chances of making a mistake that might be avoided by speaking up.

3. Ensure the Novice Nurse Understands Your Advice

What’s the point of being a mentor if the new nurse didn’t absorb your explanation? While therapeutic communication is often associated with patient interactions, try using it with new nurses as well. You can also ask them to demonstrate what they learned or repeat it in their own words so you don’t spend extra time rehashing what you’ve previously explained.

4. Lead by Example

Practice what you preach. Acting contrary to your own advice undermines the value of what you shared. If your actions align with your words, you reinforce the importance of the lessons you passed on.

5. Offer Tips and Tricks You’ve Learned Over Time

What do you gain from withholding information you learned from experience and past mistakes? Nothing. Sharing what you wish you had known earlier might save new nurses time and trouble. It can also increase patient satisfaction and safety.

How Will You Support Mentorship in Nursing?

The good news is, you can take the mentality of nurse mentorship wherever you go, even if you work at multiple facilities. With IntelyCare, you can make your own schedule and work in a variety of locations while you’re at it. If you’re ready for scheduling freedom, apply to IntelyCare today.