Creating a legacy of leadership through supporting employee mentorship: Giving back to move forward

Saturday, 16 November 2013: 3:15 PM

Noelle K. Rohatinsky, RN, MN, PhD
Linda M. Ferguson, RN, MN, PhD
College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe commonly used strategies to develop, support, and sustain mentoring relationships amongst nurses.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe means of implementing effective strategies in supporting employee mentorships in their own organization.

Background: Nurse managers are considered one of the primary individuals responsible for mentoring development, implementation, and sustenance amongst employees in healthcare facilities. Mentoring programs are becoming more frequent in healthcare environments, and nurse managers are commonly seen as primary implementers of these programs. Because they serve as the link between upper-level management and staff nurses, nurse managers are in an ideal leadership position to create positive work environments and to implement organizational change. However, managers’ perspectives on mentoring have been minimally investigated.

Purpose The purpose of the study was to explore managers’ perceptions of their roles in creating a mentoring culture, discover the processes in creating a culture of mentoring, and explore the organizational features supporting and inhibiting mentoring cultures. Nurse managers described what supporting mentorship looked like from their perspectives, how they encouraged mentoring relationships, and what they believed their roles were in developing and sustaining mentorships amongst employees. 

Methods Glaserian grounded theory methodology was used to conduct this research and twenty-seven nurse managers were interviewed from both urban and rural healthcare facilities from six health regions across one province.

Results Overall, managers believed that supporting mentorships among employees was one of their roles and responsibilities among many priorities. They outlined several mentorship-supporting initiatives that they used to assist staff with developing and sustaining mentorships and each will be discussed.

Conclusion Knowledge of mentoring gained from this study has implications for nursing practice, administration, and policy development. By integrating the mentoring-support strategies outlined by participants, managers and healthcare organizations have an opportunity to redesign work environments to develop leadership at all levels. Ultimately, establishing and supporting mentorships among employees can lead to healthy work environments and positive patient outcomes.