The Imperative of Inclusive Mentoring for Nursing Advancement in the 21st Century

Monday, July 11, 2011: 10:15 AM

Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN
Department of Nursing, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Rita K. Adeniran, DrNP, RN, CMAC, NEA, BC
Department of Nursing Education & Development, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Anand Bhattacharya, MHS
College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA

Background: The U.S. nursing workforce has become progressively diversified with increasing proportion of internationally educated nurses (IENs). Emerging evidence suggests that IENs engage less in professional development and do not progress through career ladders as frequently as nurses educated in the U.S (UENs). The literature identifies mentorship and self-efficacy as key elements of career advancement. Mentoring is defined as a process where high-ranking individuals with advanced experience and knowledge of the profession acts as powerful advocates for their mentees, helping them progress in the profession by giving them opportunity to share, observe, discuss, and learn from an experienced practitioner. Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required for managing prospective situations. Although previous studies have not examined the influence of mentorship and self-efficacy on career advancement of nurses; research in other fields has reported the influence of mentorship and self-efficacy on mentees’ career choice, job growth, and satisfaction. It was unclear if level of mentorship and self-efficacy are different between IENs and UENs, and the extent to which these differences influenced their ability to engage in professional development and career advancement.

 Purpose: To identify the differences in mentorship and self-efficacy between IENs and UENs.  

Methods: IENs and UENs participated in an online survey that collected information on demographics, mentorship and self-efficacy using valid and reliable instruments. Independent t tests were conducted to determine differences between and within groups. Level of significance was set at alpha = 0.05.

Results: IENs reported significantly lower scores on mentorship. Mentors were also demographically different between groups. Self-efficacy was similar between IENs and UENs.

Conclusion: Mentorship is critical for professional growth and career advancement. The socio-demographic characteristics of the mentor are also equally important, as nurses look up to their mentors as role models.