Mentoring-- how does it address nurses' learning needs?: a thesis presented as partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education (Adult Education) at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
Mentoring is regarded as a valuable process to support development in a variety of practice orientated disciplines, and nursing is no exception. The diversity of mentoring required within the clinical and academic context provides challenges for the nursing profession. The New Zealand Nursing Council (NZNC) requires nurses to develop a mentoring relationship to support postgraduate study. Learning and development can be supported both personally and professionally, I believe, through sound mentoring relationships. This study offers insights into mentoring experiences of nurses, seeking to understand the impact of mentoring on learning. The cohort is a group of New Zealand Registered Nurses who completed a Postgraduate Speciality Nursing Practice programme. A qualitative interpretive research design was employed using interpretive phenomenology, to explore nurses' experiences of the mentoring phenomenon. A review of the literature supported by data collection using focus group conversations during late 2006 and early 2007 provided the basis for data generation. Nursing education has been in transition over the past decade. Training programs have moved from the hospital base into the polytechnics and universities. This transitional process has resulted in a diverse mix of nurses in current practice bringing different views and perspectives to the practice setting and their educational pursuits and therefore provides challenges for mentoring relationships. Transition theory was integrated to understand the relationship of learning during times of transition and change. Findings indicate the mentoring process is complex and highly individual, often ill defined and confusing. This study illuminates some of the issues and complexities seeking to identify areas for future initiatives.