A comparative analysis of mentoring perceptions of graduate nurses : before and after orientation
The purpose of the study was to compare the mentoring expectations of graduate nurses at the the beginning and end of a prescribed orientation program. Benner's (1984) From Novice to Expert theory was used as the theoretical framework for the study. The instrument utilized was a revised version of Darling's (1984) Measuring Mentoring Potential Scale.A convenience sample of 41 (82%) graduate nurses working in critical care environments of four hospitals in the Indianapolis Metropolitan are and surrounding counties was obtained. Procedures for the protection of human subjects were followed.The design was descriptive comparative and a T-test was used to analyze the data. Common themes regarding the respondents' perceptions of mentoring were identified through analysis of open-ended questions.Findings of the study indicated that the role of Supporter, Model, and Teacher-Coach were the characteristics rated highest in priority by the respondents at the beginning of orientation. The role of Model, Supporter, and Feedback-Giver was rated highest in priority at the end of orientation. Common themes of misuse of the mentoring role, improper matching of mentor and mentee, and lack of continuity of the mentoring process were identified through open-ended questions asking the participants to list benefits and concerns regarding mentoring.Pre and post comparison of 14 indicators of mentors indicated significant differences in Teacher-Coach and Standard-Prodder at the p=5.01 level. Investor and Feedback-Giver demonstrated significance differences at the P=-<,.05 level of significance.Implications derived from the study included the validity of using mentoring as a vehicle for unity of the nursing profession. Conclusions from the study were that nurses need consistency in mentoring techniques and proper instruction in the appropriate use of the mentoring role.Recommendations include additional research at all levels of mentoring. The incorporation of mentoring as an established requirement in nursing curriculum should also be studied along with a continuation of current mentoring programs. The education of staff would remain a mandatory component of the programs.The study was significant because it was determined that graduate nurses have an interest in mentoring, therefore providing an accessible and appropriate vehicle for the use of mentoring to fundamentally strengthen the profession.