Mentoring in Nursing and Healthcare: Supporting career and personal development is an innovative look into mentoring within nursing, and its implications for career success. It provides an up-to-date review of the current research and literature within mentoring in nursing and healthcare, drawing together the distinctive challenges facing nurses and their career development. It proposes new directions and practical ways forward for the future development of formal mentoring programmes in nursing.
Offering fresh insight into mentoring principles and how these can be used beyond pre-registration nurse education to support personal career development. This is an essential book for all those commencing, continuing or returning to a nursing career.
* Addresses mentoring as a career development tool
* Focuses on the individual benefits of being a mentee and mentor and how this can aid professional development
* Both theoretical and practical material is presented
* Features case studies throughout book
* Supports nurses to develop their careers
* It is sector specific but has transferability across disciplines
* A summary chapter draws together common threads or theoretical perspectives. The book concludes with strategies for future research and progress
The benefits of mentoring in facilitating an enriching, progressive career have been well documented and empirical research has consistently demonstrated that employees with mentors experience substantial benefits, including enhanced career mobility, increased job satisfaction and increased visibility (Kram, 1985; Allen et al., 2008; Allen and Eby, 2010). Engaging in mentoring relationships facilitates a social exchange process that can lead to increased perceptions of organisational support, which in turn has a positive impact on work attitudes (Baranik, Roling and Eby, 2010). Mentoring has been shown to be a particularly effective mechanism to encourage the professional development of women in the workplace. Professional women consistently credit mentors with helping them break through the glass ceiling, a real but invisible barrier to women's career progression (Davidson and Burke, 2011). Additionally, research has demonstrated that those who engage in mentoring relationships as mentees are more likely to mentor others, therefore 'paying forward' their knowledge and experience (Clutterbuck and Ragins, 2002; Pawson, 2004).
Within nursing, mentoring as a concept is widely recognised as a necessary and important tool to develop practitioners and their practice, yet the literature on mentoring in nursing presents a confusing picture because the term 'mentoring' is often used interchangeably with other work-based developmental relationships common to the nursing profession, for example preceptorship and clinical supervision (Winterman et al., 2014). Furthermore, the application and study of mentoring in nursing is largely linked to nursing education, primarily among student nurses. According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015), for example, students on Nursing and Midwifery Council approved pre-registration nursing education programmes (which lead to registration on the nurses' part of the register) must be supported and assessed by mentors. Here, mentors perform the dual role of supporting and assessing mentees. These relationships are designed to produce proficient clinicians skilled in the art of caring.
However, the utilisation of mentoring as a concept in its own right and as a career and self-development tool to aid and assist nurses throughout their careers is neglected (Vance and Olsen, 2002). In this respect this book is a departure from exploring the meaning and application of mentoring associated with clinical training, rather it moves towards a wider appreciation of mentoring and how it can be utilised across a developing and diverse career. In doing so it addresses how mentoring relationships can be utilised beyond pre-registration nurse education to support personal career development and longer-term career ambitions. The book demonstrates how mentoring can prove beneficial at all career stages by securing change in practice, pursuing additional learning and development opportunities, enhancing self-confidence and achieving career goals. It is therefore a resource for nurses and healthcare practitioners to develop their careers and benefit from the rewards of mentoring and for managers looking for innovative approaches to introduce within the work environment. The majority of the nursing workforce are women, yet men predominate in senior roles within the UK National Health Service (NHS) and in healthcare in general (Newman, 2015; Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2015), and it has been argued that engaging in mentoring is crucial for female nurses, particularly those who want to increase knowledge and adapt practice and/or secure career progression (Vance and Olsen, 2002).
The aim of this book therefore is to provide an up-to-date review of current mentoring research within the wider workplace literature and apply this to nursing and healthcare. This includes the presentation of cutting edge research conducted by the authors of a longitudinal evaluation of the Challenging Perceptions programme, a unique career development and mentoring programme for female mental health nurses in the NHS which addressed the impact of the programme on the career and personal development of the participants over a period of 18 months (Woolnough and Fielden, 2014). Longitudinal data evaluating the longer-term impact of mentoring relationships, particularly within healthcare, is scarce and this study provided unique insights into the impact of such relationships within the nursing profession. In addition, the study looked at the benefits gained by mentors on the programme, which provides a complete evaluation of the impact of the programme on all participants. This book draws together the distinctive challenges facing nurses and their career development, isolating the main issues and themes, current thinking and practices, and proposes new research directions and practical ways forward for the future development of formal mentoring programmes in nursing and healthcare. As chartered psychologists rather than clinicians, the authors present a person-centred as opposed to task-focused approach and show that mentoring can be utilised beyond pre-registration.
The book begins by exploring the basic issue underpinning the Challenging Perceptions programme, which is the issue of how gender careers are developed within the healthcare system, with an emphasis on nursing. In order to do this it considers the wider environment within which nursing and healthcare are situated, for example the genderisation of education, the labour market and careers, and explores why this happens (Broadbridge and Fielden, 2015). Chapter 2 looks specifically at mentoring compared with other work-based developmental relationships and identifies how mentoring can be used as a career and personal developmental tool (Fielden, Davidson and Sutherland, 2009). This chapter also outlines the mechanisms required to support successful outcomes in mentoring relationships.
As the NHS employs a very diverse workforce (National Health Service, 2015), it is essential to look at how mentoring can impact on the careers of those from diverse groups, that is, gender, race and ethnicity, and this is achieved in Chapter 3. This chapter not only considers the effect on mentees from diverse backgrounds but also the benefits and drawbacks of cross-mentoring (Woolnough and Davidson, 2007). Underpinning the development of a formal mentoring programme is the current state of mentoring in the NHS and the culture within which that mentoring takes place. It is essential to understand the unique position of nurses in the NHS, who go through clinical mentoring at the beginning of their careers but rarely have such structured access to mentoring as their careers progress (Vance and Olsen, 2002). Further discussion of this can be found in Chapter 4.
In order to address the lack of career mentoring for nurses and healthcare workers in general, the authors developed a formal, multi-faceted, career development and mentoring programme called Challenging Perceptions. Chapter 5 provides a comprehensive review of how the programme was developed, designed and implemented with mentees, mentors and a control group. This is followed by an examination of the evaluation process, which was an in-depth, longitudinal study that collected both qualitative and quantitative data (Ruspini, 2002). Evaluation is an essential part of any programme if it is to demonstrate the positive benefits of the programme for both mentors and mentees, and identify areas for future development (Allen, Finkelstein and Poteet, 2009). Chapter 7 reviews the evaluation data to show whether mentoring does, in fact, support personal career development for nurses in the NHS. In doing so it also considers the development of the mentoring relationship over time and the impact of the mentoring relationship on mentors.
Rounding up the book, in Chapter 8 we take a look at what this all means for the longer-term implications of mentoring and review the essential components for a prototype of a good practice multi-faceted career development and mentoring programme to inform the future development of programmes of this nature. It is important to note that although mentoring programmes can have powerful results, they should ideally form part of a wider organisational strategy to support, nurture and develop all employees. Furthermore, mentees should regard mentoring relationships as one part of a network of relationship constellations through which developmental support can be acquired (Higgins and Kram, 2001). In addition, it must also be recognised that there is no 'one size fits all' approach to mentoring guaranteed to deliver successful outcomes. The authors present a model of good practice based on academic literature and informed by empirical research, which can be adapted to meet specific organisational needs and expectations. Ultimately we hope this book offers fresh insights into mentoring principles, specifically how nurses and healthcare professionals can utilise these to support longer-term personal career growth and, in doing so, deliver the best possible care for patients.
- Allen, T.D. and Eby, L.T. (eds) (2010) The Blackwell Handbook of Mentoring: A Multiple Perspectives Approach, Blackwell, Chichester.
- Allen, T.D., Eby, L.T., O'Brien, K.E. and Lentz, E. (2008) The state of mentoring research: a qualitative review of current research methods and future research implications. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 73, 343-357.
- Allen, T.D., Finkelstein, L.M. and Poteet, M.L. (2009) Designing Workplace Mentoring Programs: An Evidence-Based Approach, Volume...