When I was a new registered nurse, I was nervous on my first day in an actual patient unit. So many thoughts raced through my head, especially when I thought that the expectation was to care for patients the minute I entered the unit. Additionally, to see so many experienced nurses was a bit overwhelming. But then, I met the person that would guide me through the first 12 weeks of my nursing career. I quickly learned the importance of having a mentor, especially when faced with complicated patient situations.
Provided constructive feedback
Helped me expand my critical thinking skills
Guided me through difficult patient situations
Held my hand the first time I experienced a patient death
When the 12 weeks were nearing a close, I developed a trusting and therapeutic relationship with my mentor, and she became a friend. After a few years working at the bedside, I thought of ways to advance my professional career and decided to reach out to the person who helped me start it: my mentor.
Having a nursing mentor means having someone available to guide and support you throughout every stage of your nursing career. A mentor is beneficial when you are a new nurse and throughout every phase of your career. Here are three ways to find the right mentor for you:
- Attend seminars and conferences with other nurses
- Join hospital committees
- Join professional associations where many nurses and nurse leaders attend
- Get to know other nurses and nurse leaders in your organization
- If you meet someone that you feel may be a good mentor for you, ask them if they would consider mentoring you
Consider the mentor's teaching style
- Make sure that their teaching style aligns with your learning style
- Search for a mentor that enjoys sharing their expertise and provides you with constructive feedback
I have been in nursing for over 15 years. Throughout the years, I have achieved many accomplishments, including earning a doctorate degree. I didn't do this alone. Along the way, I met many individuals who helped shape my growth. Those individuals served as lifelong mentors that encouraged me every step of the way.
In life, you will meet many people, but when you find a person who cares about your success and provides you with the inspiration to continue moving forward to grow professionally, know that you found a lifelong mentor.
Nurse leadership: 4 strategies to positively lead through change
How to recover from mistakes in nursing
5 healthcare leadership styles you should try as a nurse
The National Association of Latino Healthcare Executives (NALHE) and Dignity Health Global Education (DHGE) are aligned in their mission to increase access to high-quality education and equity in healthcare