Advancing Your Career | Career & Finances | Leadership

Mentorship in Nursing: Skills That Will Make an Impact

  • Does being a part of mentorship in nursing sound like a good role for you?
  • From giving advice, to constructive feedback, there are so many ways you can impact new nurses lives.
  • There are many skills that one must possess in order to take on a mentorship in nursing role, are you up for it?
Morgan Curry, RN/BSN

Morgan Curry, BSN / RN

Intensive Care, Outpatient Surgery, Aesthetics, Education, and Nursing Leadership

September 17, 2021
Simmons University

Have you thought about becoming a mentor to another nurse? Think of how you could help and inspire them? The first thought that comes to mind is probably, ‘I don’t have time to be someone’s mentor.’  

Being a mentor doesn’t have to be time-consuming.  

You could help to encourage, uplift, and teach fellow nurses. Help them love their profession, coach them, and help them not make the mistakes you made.  

Be a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen.  

Here are some skills to embody as a mentor to leave the best possible footprint that you can on your mentee.  

As a mentor, not only do you get the honor to influence and serve as a role model to young nurses, but you also have an opportunity to see new perspectives that maybe you didn’t see before!

1. Be Patient

You are going to be guiding young nurses throughout their careers.  

Remember, you were a young and nervous nurse, too, right?  

Your ability to have patience and empathy for those you are caring for do not have to stop there. Show your passion for nursing by taking your time with mentees and showing grace when they make a mistake.  

They are looking up to you. Show grace and kindness to them because they trust you the most.  

2. Be Open-Minded

Successful mentorship in nursing is understanding that you won’t always have the answer for everything and that you’re willing to engage in an intellectual debate.  

You might pivot away from what you originally planned to teach because your mentee brought up a great point that you could learn more about.  

Being open-minded allows for creative thinking and new ideas to flow in a comfortable environment.  

3. Be Knowledgeable

Promote your mentees to ask questions! I cannot stress this enough.

You are their plethora of nursing expertise and knowledge.  

With the field always changing, it is vital that you stay up to date on new procedures and ensure that your mentees are following suit.  

Promoting continuous learning is a key to mentoring successful nurses.  

4. Be an Active Listener

Not only is this one of the most important qualities in a nurse leader, but also for mentorship in nursing.  

Whether your mentees need a safe space to voice their concerns or need advice, that is what you are here for.  

Actively listen to them and provide feedback if they ask for it; it truly makes a difference.  

Be slow to speak and quick to listen. When you listen to hear, rather than listen to respond, you may just learn something, too!

4. Be Honest

If someone has performed a task incorrectly, tell them. If they answer a question incorrectly, kindly correct them and show them why. 

Do not be condescending or make them feel bad about their mistake. Nurses are known for eating their young, but you must not do that! 

Honesty can be hard sometimes, but it makes for successful and strong leaders.  

Nursing is a hard profession to be in, and you must have thick skin, or you won’t survive. 

Promoting honesty among your mentees is a powerful step in the right direction.  

5. Be Self-Aware

You are not going to have the same background as everyone in your mentoring cohort. In fact, I would say that not one person is going to have the same exact life experiences that you have.  

Acknowledge this. 

Everyone is different, but the one thing you all do have in common is your passion for caring for others.  

Do not speak insensitively, understand that everyone comes from different walks of life, and be respectful.  

Self-awareness is a necessity when you take on the responsibility of mentorship in nursing.  

As a mentor, not only do you get the honor to influence and serves as a role model to young nurses, but you also have an opportunity to see new perspectives that maybe you didn’t see before!

Hold onto these skills to be the best mentor that you can be!  

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