eMentor: An Informal, Semi-Structured Online Intercollegiate Mentorship Experience

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Elaine D. Kauschinger, PhD, MSN
School of Nursing, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC, USA
Elizabeth Snyder, DNP
School of Nursing, Anderson University, Anderson, SC, USA
Jennifer L. Kuretski, DNP, ARNP, NP-C, AAHIVS
School of Nursing, Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL, USA
Patricia Strobehn, MSN
School of Nursing, Touro University Nevada, Henderson, NV, USA

A sustainable academic nursing workforce is crucial to ensure effective preparation of future generations of expert clinical nurses (Jackson et al., 2015). Recruiting skilled clinicians and preparing them as clinical teachers is one approach to addressing the faculty shortage (Reid et al., 2013). Crossing over from highly experienced clinician to novice nurse practitioner educator can be overwhelming. According to a 2014 American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey, there are over 1200 faculty vacancies among 714 nursing schools with baccalaureate and/or graduate programs across the country. The impending retirement of doctorally-prepared and masters-prepared faculty in the near future will also have a significant impact on the academic workforce.

Mentorship is perceived as vital to attracting, training, and retaining nursing faculty members and to maintaining high-quality education programs (Nowell, White, Mrklas & Norris, 2015). Virtual mentoring allows the experienced educator to share his/her experiences in a positive way and thus impact the number of equipped nurse educators for the future as well as to improve the number of qualified nurse educators by assisting the educators with developing teaching pedagogies and improving effective virtual learning environments (Clement, 2014; Barrett, 2010). Virtual mentoring permits successful mentoring relationships while reducing barriers of time for travel and geographical distance. There are both benefits and challenges for the mentor and mentee in establishing a successful mentoring relationship. For the mentor, giving back to the profession is an enormous benefit while availability of time and developing a successful experience can be challenging. The novice faculty can benefit by developing a comprehensive understanding of academic duties and ensuring a smooth transition into the faculty role.

Recruiting skilled clinicians and preparing them as nurse practitioner faculty is one approach to addressing the faculty shortage. Crossing over from highly experinced NP to novice NP educator can be overwhelming. Mentorship can be an essential component to attracting, educating, and retaining new nursing faculty. Virtual mentoring permits the reduction of previous barriers with regards to time and geographical distance. This presentation will examine the experience of the eMentor project involving 4 novice faculty members and their mentor from 4 US universities that addresses the issue of successful teaching, scholarship and practice using an innovative approach by embracing technology.