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Nurse Educ Today. 2014 May;34(5):815-20. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.07.020. Epub 2013 Aug 14.

Key components of an effective mentoring relationship: a qualitative study.

Author information

1
Rutgers University, College of Nursing, 180 University Avenue, Newark, NJ 07102, USA. Electronic address: eller@rutgers.edu.
2
Rutgers University, College of Nursing, 180 University Avenue, Newark, NJ 07102, USA. Electronic address: eliselev@rutgers.edu.
3
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, 8550 Magellan Parkway, Richmond, VA 23227, USA. Electronic address: Amy_Feurer@bshsi.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the recognized importance of mentoring, little is known about specific mentoring behaviors that result in positive outcomes.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify key components of an effective mentoring relationship identified by protégés-mentor dyads in an academic setting.

METHODS:

In this qualitative study, purposive sampling resulted in geographic diversity and representation of a range of academic disciplines. Participants were from 12 universities in three regions of the U.S. (South, n=5; Northeast, n=4; Midwest, n=2) and Puerto Rico (n=1). Academic disciplines included natural sciences (51%), nursing/health sciences (31%), engineering (8%), and technology (1%). Twelve workshops using the Technology of Participation method were held with 117 mentor-protégé dyads. Consensus was reached regarding the key components of an effective mentoring relationship.

RESULTS:

Conventional content analysis, in which coding categories were informed by the literature and derived directly from the data, was employed. Eight themes described key components of an effective mentoring relationship: (1) open communication and accessibility; (2) goals and challenges; (3) passion and inspiration; (4) caring personal relationship; (5) mutual respect and trust; (6) exchange of knowledge; (7) independence and collaboration; and (8) role modeling. Described within each theme are specific mentor-protégé behaviors and interactions, identified needs of both protégé and mentor in the relationship, and desirable personal qualities of mentor and protégé.

CONCLUSIONS:

Findings can inform a dialog between existing nurse mentor-protégé dyads as well as student nurses and faculty members considering a mentoring relationship. Nurse educators can evaluate and modify their mentoring behaviors as needed, thereby strengthening the mentor-protégé relationship to ensure positive outcomes of the learning process.

KEYWORDS:

Mentoring; Mentor–protégé dyads; Nursing education; Nursing students; Qualitative research

PMID:
23978778
PMCID:
PMC3925207
DOI:
10.1016/j.nedt.2013.07.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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