The Values and Value of Mentoring in Honors

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:36 AM

Susan Hayden, RN, PhD1
Valorie A. Dearmon, RN, DNP NEA-BC2
JoAnna Fairley, PhD RN, CCRN, CNS3
Todd Harlan, RN, DNP2
(1)Adult Health Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
(2)College of Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL
(3)College of Nursing, Adult Health Nursing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL

The single most important element in successful honors education is faculty mentoring.  Serving as a faculty mentor for honor students is commonly a new role for faculty members.  Consequently, faculty development is essential for mentors to learn how to effectively model the scholar role. Mentors nurture the novice student in developing his/her ideas, methods, collaborations, and writing.  In this presentation, mentoring and mentorships are discussed.  Some of the topics include the recruitment, orientation, and preparation of mentors. Guidelines are introduced for shared responsibilities of students and mentors. The role of the honors faculty committee is described in troubleshooting, as needed, to ensure that effective mentor relationships are formed and sustained.  Information on establishing relationships within the academic institution and collaborating with clinical agencies are discussed.  

The experience of one nursing honors program is presented as follows:  Student engagement with faculty mentors demonstrated a sense of connectedness and the bond strengthened throughout the mentee and mentorship relationship. While guidelines and expectations were established in the honors program, the true test was the interactions, exchanges, and teachable moments that occurred through the mentor and mentee relationship. Students described a sense of growing autonomy as components of their thesis evolved. Mentors encouraged students to select a project of their interest, then provided assistance to navigate their system.  In addition to the meetings in person, via telephone, and email there was sustainability in interprofessional nursing education among both mentors and mentees. The relationships that are established between the mentor and mentee can support the development of professional roles in nursing at the highest levels of affective development (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Masia, 1964).  Finally, the benefits to scholarship include opportunities for dissemination and publication by students and faculty mentors.