Relationship matters. The long months of the pandemic have reminded us of this valuable lesson. As new nurses enter the profession, mentoring is a way to foster a relationship that provides needed support, encouragement, and growth both personally and professionally.
What is Mentorship?
Vance and Olson in The Mentor Connection in Nursing define mentorship as “a developmental, empowering, nurturing relationship extending over time, in which mutual sharing, learning, and growth occur” (Nickitas, 2014, p. 66). Carrie Dameron describes the unique Christian nursing mentorship experience as one where “the journey of faith in professional nursing can be facilitated through a combination of discipleship and mentorship. Christian nursing mentorship focuses on both faith and professional development” (2013, p. 75).
We know the profession of nursing can be a challenging one – that has never been truer for us. Mentoring can equip us for thriving in new roles, challenges, and stresses. Mentoring can build more than our profession. It can equip us as followers of Jesus to flourish as we connect our faith and practice in the work we do, giving us a renewed sense of purpose and identity found in Jesus Christ. As we read in Scripture:
Two are better than one, because they
have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
(New International Version Bible, 1973/2011, Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10)
Mentoring is a relationship that fosters needed support and opportunities for growth for both the mentor and the mentee. as they learn from one another.
Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF · NCF Professional Ministries Director
Jen Wojtysiak, BS, ThM · NCF Student Ministries Director
Dameron, C. M. (2013). Fostering future nurses. Journal of Christian Nursing, 30(2), 75. doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0b013e318285cb0c
New International Version Bible. (2011). Bible Gateway Online. https://www.biblegateway.com/ (Original work published in 1973)
Nickitas, D. M. (2014). Mentorship in nursing: An interview with Connie Vance. Nursing Economics, 32(2), 65 – 69. http://www.nursingeconomics.net/necfiles/news/MA_14_p65.pdf
Become an NCF Mentor Today!
Walk alongside a small group of recent graduates as they continue integrating faith and nursing while staying connected to NCF. Share your experiences, pray with them and provide a space for them to be encouraged in their faith and nursing practice, equipped through mentoring and spiritual care, and empowered to share their faith with those around them.
What to Expect as a Mentor:
- Complete the mentoring application.
- All mentors will have a 30-minute onboarding call to hear about the resources provided and to answer any questions.
- Mentors will meet monthly with up to 3 recent nursing graduates for one year.
- Mentors will have an opportunity to give feedback through a short 3 question survey sent out twice over the year. You are also free to reach out at any time to Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak for questions. We are here to support you in this process.
- Membership within NCF is encouraged, but it is not required to participate in the mentoring program. Explore the benefits of being a part of NCF! Contact Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak for a special discount you can receive as a mentor.
What We Ask of Mentors:
- Pray for your mentees on a regular basis.
- Commit to at least one interaction/hour of support per month.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
- Invite the mentees to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics and scripture that has supported you in your own practice.
- Be flexible on meeting times and places.
- Arrange check-in points virtually through telephone, by text or email, etc., as appropriate. For example: if your mentee has a meeting coming up with their nurse manager where they asked for prayer, a quick text to let them know you are praying or to see how the meeting went communicates much to your mentee.
- Respond to text messages or emails from your mentee within two days of receipt.
- Keep information your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship. If information is shared where you feel you need support as a mentor, please reach out to either Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak.
- Establish open and honest communication for idea exchanges.
- Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
- Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
- Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
- Above all, LISTEN.
Mentors Should Avoid:
- Giving advice on everything.
- Encouraging the mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
- Providing your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc., unless they are constructive contributions.
- Being too busy when the mentee needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.
- Being critical.
Next Steps as a Mentor:
Complete the NCF Mentorship Application or reach out to Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak for any questions you may have.
Nursing Graduates - Interested in Being Mentored?
The profession of nursing is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. It can also be chaotic, messy, and stressful. Having someone you can be open and real with who can also empathize with the challenges you face and support your faith can be critical in your success. You don’t have to do it alone! Be a part of a small group of new nurses just like yourself and a nurse mentor who will listen, provide encouragement, and pray for you in your first year of practice.
Mentorship is part of our professional membership; we are offering all recent grads the ability to join the NCF professional community at the student price of $35/year. Click here to join. We have scholarships available to offset the membership price, please email Jen at email@example.com and let her know if you need a scholarship. After that, complete a brief questionnaire by clicking here. If you have additional questions, please contact Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak for more information.
Complete a brief questionnaire to be mentored by clicking here. If you have additional questions, please contact Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak for more information.
What We Ask of Mentees:
- Pray for your mentor and the other mentees who are a part of your group.
- Be engaged and an active participant in developing relationships with others in your mentoring group.
- Share with your mentor what you seek from a mentoring relationship and your goals for professional practice.
- Understand that your mentor may not have had experience in your particular clinical area and that’s okay. Mentoring goes beyond clinical experiences. It’s more about the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges you will face as a new nursing graduate. There’s a lot of support, wisdom, and insight available from your mentor.
- Set aside time for the mentoring process and keep all scheduled appointments with your mentor.
- Make the most of your time together with your mentor. Come to your meetings with planned topics for discussion.
- Respond in a timely manner to your mentor's questions or feedback. Respond to emails from your mentor within two days of receipt.
- Be open and honest with your mentor about your challenges and weaknesses.
- Clarify communication with your mentor. If something concerning the mentor needs to be discussed, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship. If you need additional support as a mentee, please reach out to either Christy Secor or Jen Wojtysiak.
Mentees Should Avoid:
- Asking for advice on everything. Have a purpose in the requests you make.
- Blaming the mentor if his or her advice doesn't work out.
- Expectations that the mentor will have all the answers.
- Committing yourself to obligations you cannot keep.
- Canceling meetings/visits with your mentor at the last minute.
Adapted from the American Nurses Association resource for mentees.
NCF Mentor Guide
Building a Relationship with a Mentee
Things to Do Together: Mentor-Mentee Meetings
How Faith Affects Our Work
Biblical Resources for Mentorship
NCF Mentorship Application