The Effect of Using Peer Mentoring to Reduce Student Nurse Stress During Clinical Practice

Monday, 7 July 2008
Liching Sung Wang, MSN, RN , Nursing, Joyful Adult Day Healthcare Center, Rowland Heights, CA
Hui-Chi Li, RN, MSN , School of Nursing, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Yu-Hua Lin, MSN, RN , Nursing Department, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: understand whether the peer mentoring strategy could reduce the students’ stress during the medical-surgical clinical practice.

Learning Objective 2: identify the advantages and disadvantages of the peer mentoring program.

Purpose: To explore the effect on reducing stress levels of nursing students by a peer mentoring program during clinical practice, and to analyze the advantages of the peer mentoring program.

Design: A quasi-experimental design

Method: The sample was 66 junior nursing students (n=34 in experimental group; n=32 in control group) who enrolled in the same medical-surgical nursing class. In the experimental group, there were 17 RN to BSN students assigned as mentors and paired with 17 nursing student (mentees) who enrolled in a regular 4-year BSN program. In the control group, all 32 students had the same background the mentees. The peer mentoring program provided supportive assistance during their clinical practice of medical-surgical nursing. The 5- point perceived Stress Scale for Nursing Students questionnaire was used to evaluate the stress level before and after the 4th week of their clinical practice.

Findings: Before the clinical practice, the stress level was 3.11+.68 and 3.11+.78, there was no difference between two groups (p>0.05). By the 4th week, the stress level of experimental group was lower than the control group (2.4+.78; 2.6 +.51), there was a significant difference in the stress item of “Stress resource from teachers and nursing staff” (t=0.93, P=0.016). The top 3 advantages for mentees were the enhancement of their motivation for learning, improving friendships and communications skill. For mentors, the advantages were improving self-confidence, motivation and friendships.

Conclusions: Study findings showed that the peer mentoring program had the effect on reducing the level of stress on nursing student's clinical practice. However, the peer mentoring strategy needs to be more constructive structure and well prepared. The clinical teacher needs to provide suitable support and encouragement between mentor and mentee.