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Mentoring can be understood as a form of professional relationship between an experienced professional (called the mentor) and an inexperienced or less experienced professional (called the mentee) in which the mentor assists the mentee to develop specific skills, competencies and knowledge which helps them to engage in their work in a more effective manner (Brody et al., 2016). For graduate registered nurses (GRN), mentorship helps to learn about specific issues, develop specific professional skills, promote professional growth through knowledge management sharing, develops a safe learning environment and promotes overall development of the mentee, thus helping them to transform to professional practice under the guidance (Nowell et al., 2017).
The aim of this essay is to discuss the significance of mentoring for GRN’s, how it can help to maintain work-life balance among nurses and improve their resilience and develop an action plan for effective mentoring for GRN.
Significance for the GRN:
According to Eller et al. (2014), in nursing profession and especially for graduate registered nurses, mentorship programs are vital for both professional and personal development and help to improve the skills, knowledge and competencies of the nurses. Discussed below is how mentorship programs can be significant for the GRN:
1. Open communication: Mentorship programs help to establish an open and bidirectional communication between the mentor and mentee and thus an effective sharing of ideas and thoughts between the nurses.
2. Role Modeling and Leadership: Mentorship program helps experienced GRN’s to act as role models for the inexperienced GRN, taking up the responsibilities of guiding them towards their professional development and thus helping in the professional and personal growth of the experienced nurses.
3. Independence and Collaboration: Through the mentorship program, the independence of the experienced registered nurses can be improved by helping the inexperienced nurses and thereby strengthening their own knowledge. Also it can help in the development of effective collaboration between the nurses.
4. Exchange of Knowledge: The mentorship programs can help in exchange of knowledge transfer of skills and competencies between the nurses as the experienced GRN can share their ideas, strategies and knowledge with the inexperienced GRN’s.
5. Respect and Trust: The program also helps in the development of mutual respect and trust between the nurses as it can foster mutual development of both the mentor and mentee. The mentee develops respect towards the experience of the mentor and trust their guidance which can promote their professional growth.
6. Caring Personal Relationship: Mentorship programs helps to develop a caring interpersonal relationship between the mentor and the mentee in which the mentor is able to understand the learning needs as well as challenges faced by the mentee.
7. Passion and Inspiration: The mentorship programs also help to inspire both the mentors and mentee to achieve better performance and show their passion towards the profession through the development of effective relation between the nurses.
(Eller et al., 2014)
Critically discuss in relation towork lifebalance and resilience:
Mentorship programs can help inexperience GRN’s to develop a work-life balance and resilience, allowing the nurses to balance their professional responsibilities without compromising or hampering their personal life and vice versa (Halpin et al., 2017; Ye et al., 2017). Discussed below is how the mentorship programs can promote better work life balance among the nurses:
Effective assessment of situations: The program can help inexperienced nurses learn effective strategies to assess the work situations which might be challenging for the nurse and thus understand best strategies to address them and take care of their responsibilities more efficiently (Stubbs et al., 2016).
1. Prioritizing important work: Experienced mentors can also help the mentees to identify important tasks over tasks of lesser importance and thus work on the important ones on a priority basis and void any delays and improve performance (Dhami et al., 2016).
2. Effective Time Management: The mentors can also teach the mentees on best strategies for time management through which the mentees can schedule both their professional as well as personal duties and responsibilities thereby balancing their work and life more effectively. Through effective time management, nurses can also schedule their breaks and thus relax between their busy working schedules to overcome stress (Williams et al., 2016).
3. Improving awareness of the work boundaries: The mentors can also help the mentees to understand the limits or boundaries of their own abilities and thus ensuring that they do not take up a work they are unsure about thus avoiding risks of clinical errors and work stress and therefore improving their resilience to work related stressors (Arora & Rangnekar, 2014).
4. Supporting personal care: The mentorship programs can additionally help the mentees on effective personal care strategies such as proper sleep, healthy diet, taking breaks between work schedules, staying hydrated and choosing exercise routines to avoid work fatigue and work stress. These strategies can help the GRN to cope up with the stress of work, and thus helping to improve resilience among the nurses (Dhami et al., 2016).
5. Improving Competencies of the GRN: The mentorship programs also help in the business development of the skills and competencies of the GRN through proper guidance from the mentors. Improving the work competencies additionally helps the nurses to take care of their responsibilities in a more effective manner and help to develop job satisfaction and thus improve resiliency among the nurses (Stubbs et al., 2016).
6. Adapting to work stress: Through effective coping strategies, improvement of competencies and effective management of time, the mentors can help the mentees to adapt to the stressful and highly demanding working environment of healthcare thereby improving their resilience (Smeltzer et al., 2015).
Advocate for realistic actions using SMART goals:
(specific objectives/goals which needs to be achieved through the mentorship program)
(the measurable results of achieving the target)
(actions that needs to be taken to achieve the target)
(resources that are needed to achieve the target)
(time needed for the actions to be completed)
Achieve work-life balance among Graduate Registered Nurses (Smeltzer et al., 2015)
Ability of the nurses to implement effective work life balance can be measured through several aspects such as: improvement in work satisfaction of the nurses, reduction in work related stress, reduction in overtimes and extended shifts for nurses, reduction of health related leaves, improvement in taking breaks.
Helping to develop time management skills
Whiteboard, electronic schedulers, calendars
Helping to prioritize tasks and follow a work schedule
Whiteboard, electronic schedulers, calendars, computer
Encouraging to take breaks from work to avoid stress
Encouraging participation in relaxation sessions
Special rooms for relaxation sessions, yoga mats, audio system
Encouraging to take personal leaves, attend social events and meet with friends
Achieve resilience in the professional practice of nurses (Dhami et al., 2016)
Resilience of nurses in their professional practice can be measured through reduction in work related stress, improvement in work satisfaction, improvement in the employee retention rates, reduction in clinical errors
Regularly assessing work related stress among nurses
Stress assessment forms
Regularly assessing job satisfaction
Job satisfaction assessment forms and feedback forms
Regular assessment of signs of emotional fatigue and emotional depletion
Discrete emotional questionnaire
Helping to improve self care
Self care workshops, handouts
Helping nurses to use effective relaxation techniques to prevent work stress
Self care workshops, handouts
Helping to develop adaptability to stressful work
Workshops and handouts
Mentoring is a strategy through which experienced nurses can help an inexperienced nurse to learn about the job, develop their professional competencies through effective sharing of knowledge and information. The mentorship programs helps to develop effective communication, role modeling and leadership skills, independence, collaboration, sharing of knowledge, trust, respect, effective interpersonal relations, passion and inspiration among the nurses. The mentorship program can also help to promote effective work life balance and resiliency among the nurses through learning about effective situational awareness, prioritizing work, time management, understanding the work boundaries, effective personal care and improvement of competencies which can promote job satisfaction and coping with work stress.
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3. Dhami, G., Gao, W., Gensheimer, M. F., Trister, A. D., Kane, G., & Zeng, J. (2016). Mentorship programs in radiation oncology residency training programs: a critical unmet need. International Journal of Radiation Oncology* Biology* Physics, 94(1), 27-30.
4. Eller, L. S., Lev, E. L., & Feurer, A. (2014). Key components of an effective mentoring relationship: A qualitative study. Nurse education today, 34(5), 815-820.
5. Halpin, S. N., Dillard, R. L., Idler, E., Clevenger, C., Rothschild, E., Blanton, S., ... & Flacker, J. M. (2017). The benefits of being a senior mentor: Cultivating resilience through the mentorship of health professions students. Gerontology & geriatrics education, 38(3), 283-294.
6. Nowell, L., Norris, J. M., Mrklas, K., & White, D. E. (2017). A literature review of mentorship programs in academic nursing. Journal of ProfessionalNursing HealthCare, 33(5), 334-344.
7. Smeltzer, S. C., Sharts-Hopko, N. C., Cantrell, M. A., Heverly, M. A., Jenkinson, A., & Nthenge, S. (2015). Work-life balance of nursing faculty in research-and practice-focused doctoral programs. Nursing outlook, 63(6), 621-631.
8. Stubbs, B., Krueger, P., White, D., Meaney, C., Kwong, J., & Antao, V. (2016). Mentorship perceptions and experiences among academic family medicine faculty: Findings from a quantitative, comprehensive work-life and leadership survey. Canadian Family Physician, 62(9), e531-e539.
9. Williams, J. C., Berdahl, J. L., & Vandello, J. A. (2016). Beyond work-life “integration”. Annual review of psychology, 67, 515-539.
10. Ye, Z. J., Qiu, H. Z., Liang, M. Z., Liu, M. L., Li, P. F., Chen, P., ... & Liao, K. L. (2017). Effect of a mentor-based, supportive-expressive program, Be Resilient to Breast Cancer, on survival in metastatic breast cancer: a randomised, controlled intervention trial. British journal of cancer, 117(10), 1486