… and, in fact, it’s not just nurses but everybody! I have several mentors and coaches who guide me in my law practice. Even though I’ve been a lawyer for 25 years, mentors always have new insights to help.
Many nurses get caught up in the norms of their unit with the “we’ve-always-done-it-this-way” syndrome. If you are a new nurse, you may not know that this is not proper. You may get a bothersome gut feeling but you’re too timid or afraid to say something.
You’re just going with the flow and then one day … SURPRISE! Your unit manager calls you into her office and tells you that you’re being written up. Now you need to report this on your nursing license renewal application. This is an all too frequent scenario.
I suggest that you and every nurse get a mentor, especially when you’re just starting out. With nursing schools cutting their funds, time spent on clinicals and learning on mannequins, it takes a couple of years of active practice for you to get your nursing “sea legs.”
So, you need a mentor! Someone who can be objective and tell you the truth (with love, of course). It should be someone who does not work with you but someone you trust and respect. Someone to whom you will listen when they offer advice.
It’s always good to talk with a mentor about the patients you’ve taken care of, the assessments that you’ve made and the decisions you’ve made based on your assessments. A mentor can guide and help you to determine if you’ve made the right judgment call in that situation and coach to be a better nurse.
Personally, I have always believed that having a mentor allows you to borrow their experiences to expedite your learning curve. No matter how experienced you are, a mentor can help you improve your practice and take your career to the next level whether that is climbing the clinical ladder, becoming certified or whatever is next for you.
As nurses, we should always be striving to learn, grow and improve ourselves so that we can give the best in patient care. Having a mentor is one way to accomplish this.
Before you go, let us know, in the box below, if you have a mentor or share your thoughts about possibly having one.