Nursing

What is Mentorship?

This poses another important question: Why do I need a mentor? Or better said, how does having a mentor benefit me?  The term mentor is simply defined by Merriam-Webster as “a trusted counselor or guide”.  Another, and more detailed definition is,  to teach, give advice or guidance to someone that is less experienced.  With that said, the question is clearly answered and understood.  It is truly that simple. 

Why do I need a mentor? Because there is always someone out there who has more experience and can guide me, and teach me how to accomplish my goals. Here’s a a simple example. When I was in nursing school I did not get an opportunity to insert an NG tube. So, as a novice nurse I finally had my first opportunity; I asked a more experienced person for help. I had been a nurse longer than the nurse I asked, but it didn’t matter! She had put in many NG tubes in her career and I had zero experience!! My goal was to learn how to insert NG tubes and this nurse was the expert on the floor; therefore, she was my NG tube mentor. I use this example to say, I have many mentors and I will continue to seek out mentors. I also try to be a mentor whenever possible.  

This is how it all began for me……

When I was in nursing school I was looking for a mentor.  The school website even said they had a mentorship program. When I went to my first student nurses association meeting I was disappointed to find out that the mentorship program had not been functioning for years. I quickly decided to start a mentorship program there.  For me, I believed that having a mentor for each individual course was going to be key for the success of all students. I started the mentorship program with the fundamentals course. I found the students that completed this course and were successful. They became the mentors for us who were just starting the course. I did this for every individual course during nursing school. It was very successful in helping those of us along our journey that had less experience than those who had already completed those courses. These mentors were available to all students that wanted to participate. Some of these mentors even had group sessions.  The majority of the students that participated in the mentorship program really benefited from it. I encourage you if you don’t have a mentorship program at your school to start one. If you need any advice or any guidance please feel free to contact me I’ll be more than happy to help! I am a huge advocate of mentorship and mentorship programs.  There’s no doubt about the fact that this is why I started my blog I’m passionate about mentorship and this is one way I can help mentor those who want to become nurses, nursing students that are starting their journey, or graduates that are started there careers.  I am also now able to mentor those in graduate school. I finished my graduate program in August 2015, took my exam 6 weeks later and filled out the mound of paperwork to get my license! I am now mentoring those that are approaching that part of their journey!  For me, it’s so rewarding to give back and help others.  I love the visual of climbing up a mountain and stopping along the path to turn around and extend a helping hand to the person behind me to assure we reach the mountain top together! 

Always Be Inspired,

Lisa Marie Walsh

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