April 23, 2009
Mentoring is a multidimensional relationship that energizes personal and professional growth (Wagner and Seymour, 2007). The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of mentoring and the key role it plays in the development of nurse managers.
Over the past 20 years the concept of mentoring has grown more popular in our workplaces. Many public service organizations, as well as, corporations have developed formal mentoring programs for both management and staff for the purpose of improving overall operations, productivity and overall commitment to the organizations goals. Mentoring is now being recognized in nursing and other healthcare fields. This concept analysis will attempt to clearly define the concept mentoring while differentiating it from precepting and clinical supervision. Finally, this article will discuss the importance of a mentoring program designed for developing managers.
While searching the literature, many articles regarding mentoring can be found in business and management journals but few are found in nursing and medical journals. In the nursing and medical journals the concept of mentoring appears murky. In some cases the terms mentoring, precepting and clinical supervision are used interchangeably. This leads to confusion and inaccuracy.
The word mentor dates back to Greek Mythology. Mentor was a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus’ son Telemachus. The Webster dictionary defines mentor as a trusted and wise counselor or guide, a tutor or coach (Give, 1966). Other definitions include, “a learning relationship”, “a critical companionship” and a process in which two or more people create a connection in a safe environment that allows healing truth and wisdom to be discovered (Wagner and Seymour, 2007). For the purposes of this paper we will use
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