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Mentoring

Project B.E.Y.O.N.D.
Building Ethnic Youth Opportunities for Nursing Diversity... A Critical Component of Our Strategic Agenda

MENTORING: HONORING THE PAST

The data on the current nursing workforce in Wisconsin will soon be unveiled. Yet the writing is on walls as headlines of newspapers and nursing journals proclaim “the worst nursing shortage ever” or “nursing faculty: too few and many soon to retire.” At the same time, we read plans for healthcare reform calling for nursing leaders. I wonder, what is ahead and then I look in the mirror and ask “What am I doing beyond refining my own clinical expertise to improve the nursing workforce and healthcare? Is there a way for one person to influence the future?”

Mentoring is my contribution. Mentoring has become a global concept, much more than a person who gives advice or counsel to another. Mentoring is even evidence based practice. There is increasing evidence that mentoring makes a difference. Those who have mentors have presented more papers, publications, presentations and been more likely to be become mentors themselves. (Nettles & Millett, 2006).

I have been a nursing mentor for Project B.E.Y.O.N.D: Building Ethnic Youth Opportunities for Nursing Diversity through Marquette University for about 3 years. I initially thought that I would be helping with nursing “homework”, explaining physiology or helping to make connections between health and illness and people. Instead, I find myself being a coach to provide fuel and hope for possibilities ahead.

I have been astonished at the hurdles in front of nursing students. Yet, I have also been reenergized by the hopefulness of young students to make a difference in the health of a community by becoming a nurse.

Personally, mentoring nursing students, especially Hispanic students, is honoring my past, my parents and many mentors. Too often, minority ethnic students face more doubts than encouragement about their chances of being successful. Many are first generation college students trying to transverse the university setting without a path of breadcrumbs from past voyagers. I am a reminder that a nursing career is possible, it can be done.

Mentoring future advance practice nurses is another passion. I foresee endless opportunities for future nursing leaders. There is restlessness among graduate students to get started on new programs or new roles in new clinical settings. I think that is great!

I enjoy escaping the “how to” mentor role and asking why not try something different?  

In appreciation of my mentors, I often quote Isaac Newton…”If I have seen further than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants”.  At a mere 5 foot 2 inches, I am not a giant but gladly offer the view from my shoulders to anyone.

Teri Vega Stromberg, MSN, RN

 

 

Sigma Theta Tau International Has NEW Leadership Opportunities (CHIRON)

By: Maureen T. Greene, RN, CNS-BC, ACNP-BC, PhD © Region 4 Coordinator for Sigma Theta Tau International

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Is this all there is for me in my career?” I know I have, many times. Self talk to good, but actions speak louder than words, even if those words are to you! So when you our looking for a new challenge in life or career, I encourage you to seek leadership.

Some people are fearful of leadership positions. It suggests an elevated place, with new responsibilities and a possibility of unknowns. But leadership is really not a POSITION it is a PROCESS. So let me offer you some options.

Professional development can start at your place of employment, which is a good place to start. Many career moves in the profession start by taking on committee work, task force involvement or shared governance projects. But when you move to a new job title or classification, mentoring is needed. Mentoring is different from precepting, because mentoring has social, personal, practical and professional realms. Mentoring means a relationship.

Now I fortunately have been party to downsizing at companies that forced a job change and some I have chosen. But there were also times that I chose leadership “opportunities”. Every time, whether a job change or advancement, that transition was a scary process of returning to novice when I was close to expert. However, every time, the road was made smoother by mentoring.

So I want to offer you a Guided Mentorship opportunity! The CHIRON mentee/mentee relationship is a planned relationship between Sigma Theta Tau members. I offer you the following explanation and link for more. But what I really want to tell you is that we need to move beyond the Talk to Action and reach out for our personal and professional growth. You have to take risks/opportunities, even if they do make you uncomfortable, because it is only in trying that we really succeed.

See: Greene, M. T. & Puetzer, M. (2002). The value of mentoring: a strategic approach to retention and recruitment. Journal of Nursing Care Quality, 17(1), 63-70.

What is the Mentored Leadership Development Program?
The Mentored Leadership Development Program offers all nurses whether they are Sigma Theta Tau members or not, an invaluable resource for mentoring and individualized leadership development. The program gives individuals the opportunity to participate in one of two ways: as a mentee or as a mentor. Mentees can be at any stage of their career and wish to develop leadership skills. They are paired with nurses who are experienced professionals and who can assist mentees during a one-year program to achieve their professional goals centered on leadership, scholarship and evidence-based nursing. Projects can be in a variety of areas including practice, scholarship, and health policy. Mentors provide guidance and networking to the mentee.

Mentees
Nurses at any state of their career who wish to develop leadership skills will be selected as mentees in the Mentored Leadership Development Program. During the one-year program, each mentee is guided by an accomplished mentor. The pairs participate in group activities and with guidance from the mentor, the mentee carries out an individualized leadership development plan. Applicants will intend to use these skills in professional or community organizations, such as Sigma Theta Tau or for personal development in a current role.

Mentors
A prestigious cadre of self-identified and/or invited leaders, who are willing to guide the development of mentees. A mentor must apply with a mentee. No individual mentor applications will be considered. For more information, e-mail leadership@stti.iupui.edu

 
Please help us provide leadership and scholarship in practice, education and research to enhance the health of all people.

For more information, please contact Carol Sabel, President.
carol.sabel@alverno.edu

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