The reasons for the current, renewed emphasis on mentoring in the nursing profession are many. Mentoring is not only a traditional manner of passing knowledge and experience from one generation to the next. It is also a means of preparing nurses for practice and encourages them to assume their role as able professionals better able to play a vital role in the health care environment.
The mentoring relationship has a strong tradition in nursing, dating from long before the profession was a recognized field of study. Historically, the profession and science of nursing was passed along through close teacher-student relationships. In the 21st century, the need for this relationship has grown, as effective collaboration after graduation is required in a fast-paced, rapidly changing work environment.
Mentoring is a well-established concept in many professions, including law, medicine, and engineering. It encourages career development and enhancement; supports ethnic and gender diversity in the profession; provides member benefits; and increases retention. Mentoring can help young people through times of change and transition, easing the adjustment to a new academic or professional environment and ensuring the success of emerging professionals.
Mentoring is often given lip service in education, but in successful hospitals, it is a reality. Mentoring facilitates success. People want to be around other people who are successful and who demonstrate a positive attitude.
You can make a difference by becoming a mentor. You have the opportunity to help prepare a future generation of nurses for the challenges ahead. A mentee should possess an insatiable desire to learn, study, express interest in their own work and the work of their mentee. You can make a difference in that nurses' learning process and at the same time in the profession of nursing.