Written by Helen Le
Do you have a mentor at work? If not, we encourage you to consider seeking a mentor: someone you look up to, someone who genuinely looks out for your best interests, someone who you can turn to in troubling times or perhaps to just offer a non-judgemental listening ear.
Nursing Mentors can be the most magnificent support to nurses, regardless of how experienced or inexperienced, you are.
There are many benefits to having a professional mentor:
They’ve been there before and know the good, the bad and the ugly side of nursing. A mentor has an abundance of first-hand experience which will provide you with insightful guidance in your nursing career. Their experience will also come with more knowledge and skills which you might not have experienced yourself and what better way than to receive constructive feedback.
They are your go-to person. With their first-hand experience of the ups and downs of nursing, mentors are empathetic supporters to their mentees. We all make mistakes and a mentor will more than likely share their experiences of mistakes that they too have made. There’s something very comforting in hearing that a more experienced and senior nurse of whom you admire has also had moments of regret and just like you: is only human! On the flip side, mentors will also compliment and acknowledge you when you are doing well.
Having a mentor allows you to hone your skills and in turn increase your proficiency in nursing. A mentor will point out your strengths and weakness and guide you along the way. With improved skills and having a trusted person motivating you will leave you feeling more engaged with a greater sense of job satisfaction.
Consider who you admire, who would go that extra mile for you, who would be willing to invest time and energy into supporting you? Have a think about those questions and marry that with those of whom you have observed during your placements or workplace, previous workplaces or through other connections. Once you have established this and you feel that you have good, positive natural rapport with this person, why not simply ask the question. No doubt that you’ll find that person will be quite honoured and enthused at the proposal. Give it a go and good luck!
Having a mentor truly makes a difference in one’s life and don’t forget that one day you too will have the privilege of being a mentor!