Mentoring potential of oncology nurses
Nurses in management and clinical positions in all areas of the country are experiencing role changes due to restructuring within the health care industry. Nurses have an opportunity to embrace and enhance these changes as the trend toward Patient Focused Care continues which entails a restructuring of care delivery at all levels.Oncology nurses are specifically encouraged by the Oncology Nursing Society to mentor other nurses. The purpose of this study was to examine the concept of mentoring as related to oncology nurses who have experienced role changes due to redesigns in the health care delivery systems. The theoretical framework used in this study was Benner's "From Novice to Expert."A convenience sample of 88 oncology nurses were surveyed. The Darling Measuring Mentoring Potential Scale (MMP), a demographic questionnaire, and a cover letter were mailed. Respondent confidentiality was maintained and the procedures for protection of human subjects were followed. A descriptive correlational design was used. The research questions were analyzed using Pearson's correlation coefficient and multiple regression analysis. Means and standard deviation of mentoring characteristics were also obtained on the clustered scores. Findings of the study indicated a small, but significant difference between levels of education, role changes and mentoring potential. Levels of education and role changes accounted for 15% of the differences in mentoring potential scores. However, the mean scores for both the clustered basic and supporting mentoring characteristics were below the suggested scores as suggested for a substantial mentoring relationship.Conclusions from the study were that the concept of mentoring is still not prevalent among oncology nurses and does not play an important role in the professional lives of the respondents. The concept of mentoring needs to be formally addressed in nursing education as well as in hospital staff education and leadership programs. There needs to be continuing research regarding the concept of mentoring within the nursing profession in order to promote the benefits of this concept so that nurses may join with those in other professions to enjoy the products of mentoring.