Mentoring — defined as a voluntary, mutually beneficial and long-term relationship where an experienced and knowledgeable leader supports the maturation of a less experienced nurse — is a critical strategy to support nurses in professional and leadership development. When you mentor a less senior nurse, not only are you benefiting the profession, you are helping yourself. There is substantial evidence showing how it affects the mentors’ leadership and professional development for the better.
The benefits of mentoring:
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario promotes an 80/20 model of employment, whereby nurses 55 and over, in all sectors spend 20 per cent of their time on professional development or activities, especially mentoring new colleagues. Research shows that the 80/20 model has profound health-care benefits as well as improved career satisfaction. The program also opens up full-time positions for new graduates and helps keep experienced nurses in the work force.