Facilitators, barriers, benefits and limitations of a nurse mentoring relationship

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

This qualitative study explores the facilitators, barriers, benefits, and limitations of the mentoring relationship between recently graduated nurse mentees and their mentors. These nurses participated in a seven-week New Nurse Internship Mentoring Program in an urban hospital.

The study sample consisted of twenty inexperienced and nineteen experienced registered nurses who represented diverse racial, cultural, and clinical nursing specialties. Focus group and open-ended personal interviews were used to gather data. Findings were reported by open coding, domain and thematic analyses.

Major findings of the study were related to four research questions accompanied by important information regarding the mentoring experience in general. Four research questions which guided the study included: (1) What are the facilitators of the mentoring relationship? (2) What are the barriers to the mentoring relationship? (3) What are the benefits of the mentoring relationship? and (4) What are the limitations of the mentoring relationship?

Findings suggested the relationships were viewed as good to excellent. The transition from student nurse to graduate nurse was seen as both difficult and smooth. Mentoring was defined in relation to mentor characteristics. positive mentor traits were identified as patient, supportive and knowledgeable.

Facilitators to mentoring were identified as factors which were helpful including mentor and mentee personality characteristics and institutional factors. Barriers to mentoring were identified based on debilitating factors, personality conflicts, scheduling conflicts, mentor dislike for the job and mentor lack of knowledge. Means to overcoming barriers included matching team schedules I rewarding the mentor and increasing mentor training. Benefits were defined as advantages to the mentor, mentee, institution and profession. Respondents were reluctant to identify limitations.

Findings verified that a nurse mentoring relationship is an important factor in assisting the transition of graduates into the nursing profession. Findings offer implications for nursing education and professionals responsible for providing a work environment supportive to developing clinically competent nurses.