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Providing Support To New Mentors And Mentees Nursing Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Nursing
Wordcount: 2669 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This toolkit has been developed to provide support to individuals participating in a mentoring program for the first time. It explains the mentoring process, respective roles of the mentor and mentee and provides guidance regarding the foundation, development and conclusion of the mentoring relationship.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a process for personal and professional development in which a more experienced individual (a mentor) and a learner (mentee) share experiences, knowledge, skills, perspectives and values.

The goal of mentoring is unique to each mentoring relationship however in general, the mentee should benefit from the enhanced skills and knowledge of the mentor, and develop clear goals for their professional development.

The mentor also benefits from the fresh perspectives of the mentee and being able to share expertise and continuously reassess how to improve and build upon their skills and knowledge. [1] 

Why mentor?

A successful mentoring program benefits everyone involved, the mentor, mentee and the organisations to which they belong. Where mentoring programs exist between separate organisations, a mutually beneficial ongoing partnership can result.

Reasons for mentoring can include induction, career development, succession planning, staff retention, professional development, change management, and leadership development.

Benefits to mentors include:

Satisfaction in contributing to the development of skills and knowledge in another

Enhanced leadership skills

Opportunity to develop communication and interpersonal skills

Improved understanding and fresh perspective on issues within the organisation or industry

Building on professional development network

Opportunity to reflect on own practices

Cement role as subject matter experts and leaders.

Benefits to mentees include:

Opportunity to develop new skills and expertise

Enhanced confidence in dealing with challenges and issues

Gaining a different (at times more senior) perspective on organisational issues

Access to independent and objective perspectives

Enhanced networking opportunities

Help to set goals and work towards them

Potential for increased visibility within own organisation

Support during times of change and transition. [2] 

Successful mentoring

To be successful the mentoring relationship must be based on mutual respect and trust and a both parties must be enthusiastic and willing to commit time and effort into the process. The success of the mentoring relationship will depend on:

Setting clear mutual goals upfront

Formulating an action list to achieve agreed goals

Managing time well, including daily meetings to track progress against goals

Commitment from both the mentor and mentee to the experience

Good communication that includes open and honest feedback

Modelling professional values and ethical standards.

Role of the mentor

The mentor’s role is to facilitate a positive learning experience that supports the individual personal and professional goals of the mentee. This is achieved through:

Listening and responding to the needs of the mentee

Negotiating appropriate boundaries of the mentoring relationship

Helping the mentee to set challenging but achievable personal and professional goals

Openly sharing experience and expertise

Creating a safe environment where mentees feel comfortable discussing issues openly

Challenging current perspectives

Enabling mentees to gain confidence to manage problems and make effective decisions independently. [3] 

In a mentoring relationship, the mentor must adopt different roles as the need arises. [4] Specific experience required by the mentor will change depending on the individual needs of the mentee and purpose of the mentoring program, however all mentors should have the ability and willingness to:

Openly share experience and learning

Listen with empathy

Act as a sounding board for ideas

Help find solutions

Provide emotional support

Give and receive honest and constructive feedback

Invest time into the relationship

Keep the mentee on track to achieving goals.

A mentor should avoid:

Talking too much – listening is the key

Giving advice without first encouraging the mentee to come up with solutions themselves

Being too busy to give the appropriate time and attention to the mentoring relationship

Being judgemental and critical of the mentee in order to highlight their own competency.

Role of the mentee

The mentee’s role will vary depending on the context and purpose of the mentoring program but can include:

Taking responsibility for defining and achieving the goals they hope to achieve from the relationship

Respecting the boundaries of the mentoring relationship

Openly sharing experience and expertise

Listening and being open to new perspectives

Developing the ability to create their own solutions

Proactively manage the scheduling of the mentoring meetings

Giving and receiving honest and constructive feedback

Investing time into the relationship

Sharing new ideas.

The mentee should avoid:

Becoming reliant on the mentor to solve problems

Being negative about the mentoring opportunity

Playing it safe and not taking risks when appropriate

Blindly accepting the mentor’s suggestions without putting forward their own ideas

Being defensive and closed to constructive criticism.

Cross culture mentoring

Mentoring across cultural differences can have hidden challenges and mentors need to realise that when you are mentoring someone of a different Race, Ethnicity or Gender that you need to take account of that difference. Dr Helen Turnbull suggests three tips for successful cross cultural mentoring:

Have an open discussion about cultural differences as part of the mentoring process.

Be willing to learn about the mentee’s world and really hear their perspective

Understand the culturally different values that the mentee brings to the table. [5] 

Suggested approach to mentoring

A successful mentoring relationship is built on trust and a respect. It is therefore important to ensure the mentoring program is structured to facilitate the development of this important relationship.


Before the first meeting both the mentor and mentee should think about what they believe they can bring to the mentoring relationship and what understanding and experience they would like to gain from it. Both mentor and mentee should make an effort to find out more about their mentoring partner’s current role and experience and come up with some questions to prompt discussion at the first scheduled meeting.

The initial meeting

The initial meeting should be used most importantly to develop the mentoring relationship. It should be a time for the mentor and mentee to find out more about each other’s current role, experience and hopes for the mentoring process. Key decisions to be discussed and documented at this meeting include:

Personal and professional goals for the mentoring relationship

Actions needed to achieve goals

Timeframe of the relationship

The frequency, duration and location of future mentoring sessions and activities.

Available at the end of this document are tools to use at the initial meeting to help define goals and document actions needed to achieve goals. (Tool 1: Needs Analysis, Tool 2: Goal definition; Tool 3: Action plan).

Subsequent meetings

At the beginning of each subsequent meeting, the mentee should reflect on progress made since the previous meeting and document progress using Tool 4: Record of mentoring session (template available at the end of this document). During the meetings the mentor and mentee should discuss progress made since the previous meeting, together with any issues experienced and possible solutions. At the end of the meeting both parties should discuss and record any learnings resulting from the meeting, and document activities to be completed before the next meeting. Finally the time and place of the next meeting should be agreed on.

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Final meeting

The final meeting is about discussing the outcomes of the formal mentoring program including individual and professional achievements and learnings. It should be a time to reflect on the initial goals set at the beginning of the relationship and document and celebrate progress made against these goals. It is also a good time to discuss what’s next for the mentee and how they will continue their personal and professional development.


Mentoring program evaluation

The mentoring program should be evaluated informally throughout the process. This can be through informal daily catch ups and by checking progress against your action charts to see how goals are being met. At the end of the formal mentoring relationship it is important to discuss the success of the program against the goals set at the start. There is a formal evaluation form provided at the end of this document (Tool 5: Mentoring evaluation form). The evaluation process will highlight opportunities for further learning and can feed into an action plan for ongoing partnerships.

Additional resources

National Mentoring Partnership


The Mentoring Center


National Mentoring Center


LGPro Mentoring Program


Human Factor Assessments


Betty Neal Crutcher: “Cross-Cultural Mentoring: An Examination of the Perspectives of Mentors.”

Mentoring guidelines


The Mentor Leadership & Resource Network


The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education


Creative Mentoring


Center for Coaching and Mentoring

Center for Coaching & Mentoring, Inc.

Mentors Peer Resources


Tool 1: Initial mentoring meeting – needs analysis

Use this tool as a guide to developing goals for the mentoring relationship. You should discuss your background, current roles, interests, concerns and what you both hope to gain out of the mentoring relationship.

Date: / /

1) Needs: What do you most want to achieve from the mentoring process?

2) Interests: What are your main interests and skills?

3) Issues: What issues do you currently experience in your work at present?

4) Expectations: What do you expect from this mentoring process?

Tool 2: Initial mentoring meeting – goal definition

From your Needs Analysis discussion, define your goals for the Work Placement / Mentoring process. There is space here for up to five goals (you can have less). In defining your goals, be specific and realistic about what is achievable in time you have together.

Date: / /

Goal 1

Goal 2

Goal 3

Goal 4

Goal 5

Tool 3: Initial mentoring meeting – action plan for achieving goals

Make an action plan to help achieve each of your goals.

Date: / /

Goal 1:



Date/ Time scheduled

Goal 2:



Date/ Time scheduled

Goal 3:



Date/ Time scheduled

Goal 4:



Date/ Time scheduled

Goal 5:



Date/ Time scheduled

Tool 4: Record of mentoring session

Date: / /

1) Progress against goals:

2) Issues identified:

Issues identified

Possible solution

3) Learnings from this meeting

3) Actions scheduled for completion before next meeting



Date/ Time scheduled

Agreed next meeting time: / /

Tool 5: Mentoring evaluation form

Program evaluation

1) What goals did you and your mentee set for the mentoring process?

2) Did you achieve these goals? If not, was there a reason for this?

3) Did any new goals result from the mentoring program? If yes, provide detail.

4) Do you believe a mutually beneficial partnership opportunity exists between your RTO and the Fellow’s RTO. If yes, what support will you need to progress the opportunity. If no, explain the issues you believe are preventing the opportunity.

Tool 6: Ongoing partnership ideas

A key component of the ALA is to develop sustainable relationships between providers. There is space here to write down some potential partnership ideas and the action/s or external support required to develop the opportunity.

Partnership idea 1:



Date/ Time scheduled

Partnership idea 2:



Date/ Time scheduled

Partnership idea 3:



Date/ Time scheduled

Partnership idea 4:



Date/ Time scheduled



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