Nurses progress from novice to expert at various stages of their careers: from an undergraduate nursing employee to a grad nurse to their professional practice in their RN/RPN/LPN role. While mentorship is important to a “newly graduated nurse”, it is almost as important to nurses who transition to different areas in nursing which may make them “novice” in their new area of practice. The novice nurse has recently completed formal education but benefits from additional supports to transition from the role of novice to expert. During this transition period, a novice nurse requires the guidance of others to learn how to apply theoretical knowledge to real life clinical experiences (Benner, 1984). Helping the novice nurse develop new skills, overcome obstacles, and integrate into the workplace is crucial. Research has shown that an effective integration into the workplace can aid in recruitment, job satisfaction, and promote retention. An essential part of this integration includes mentorship.
Mentoring not only facilitates best clinical practices and professional growth for the mentee but also the mentor must remain current with policies and practices to best guide the mentee, making it a mutually beneficial relationship (Howard 2020).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Mentorship is a voluntary, mutually beneficial, and long-term relationship where an experienced and knowledgeable leader (mentor) supports the maturation of a less experienced nurse with leadership potential (mentee). Mentorship is not preceptorship or providing clinical orientation. The mentor’s role is to support the mentee in their maturation as a nurse. The mentor does not evaluate the mentee’s performance.
Posters and information sheets will be made readily available for nursing staff. Managers will be provided with information to use for discussion at staff meetings around the role of mentorship, the training that will provided, and the expectations of the role. The manager will ask those that are interested to indicate their interest. As well, a manager may approach staff asking them if they would be interested in becoming mentors.
It is expected that you will have regular contact with your mentee sufficient to develop and maintain the mentor-mentee relationship. The manner and type of contact will be determined as agreed upon by the mentor and mentee based on identified goals and objectives.
The formal mentorship relationship is anticipated to be in place for a period of approximately 6 months. That does not limit the mentor and mentee from continuing an informal mentorship relationship beyond six months.
You are entitled to be paid $0.70/hour for each hour that you are assigned as a mentor to a new graduate. Mentors will be compensated by receiving $0.70/hour on 50% of their regularly scheduled hours in the 6-month mentorship period. If a mentor feels that more time has been dedicated to mentorship, they should discuss this with their manager.
The mentor will be paid at $0.70/hour for each hour on 50% of their regularly scheduled hours during the mentorship period. For example, if the mentorship period lasts 3 months, then the mentor will be paid $0.70/hour for each hour on 50% of their regularly scheduled hours during that 3-month period.
None, the mentee works under their own license.
In the initial rollout of this program, a nurse will only mentor one person at a time. The mentorship program will be evaluated and reviewed at regular intervals and it may be possible for an experienced mentor to mentor more than one person at a later date.
It is the Manager’s responsibility to inform new graduates upon hire that they are eligible to be assigned a mentor.
The manager will select a mentor from the pool of individuals who have been identified as mentors that they feel would best fit your personality, skill set, and availability.
The manager will check in with you one week into the mentorship relationship to see whether it is meeting your needs, whether adjustments are required, and whether you are comfortable with the mentor assigned to you.
The manager will meet with you and the mentor (where possible) to discuss whether the stated goals and objectives have been met. If it is determined that you would still benefit from a mentorship relationship then steps will be taken to provide you with a new mentor.
Only one mentor will be assigned to each mentee.
The relationship is structured with stated goals and objectives but the manner in which they are met is flexible and based on the needs of the mentor and mentee and can be adapted as required.
The Memorandum of Understanding Re: Mentorship that is in the Collective Agreement applies only to new graduates. That does not prevent an experienced nurse in a new environment from requesting a mentor, however, this would not fall within the parameters of the Collective Agreement and would be compensated on a non-monetary basis.
Information about Mentorship