Clukey, Lory

Committee Member

McNeill, Jeanette

Committee Member

Wilson, Vicki


School of Nursing


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created





218 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Students may be faced with many challenges and stressors as they progress through their chosen field of education. Nursing education is no different. As nursing students progress through their program of study, they can face stresses similar to those faced by nurses in practice with the additional burden and stress of academic life, often without the support that might be in place for nurses in clinical settings. Stress, burn-out, and high attrition rates in nursing schools during a time when nurses are much needed in the workforce remain prominent issues within nursing education. Mentoring, which is found inherently within all domains of nursing, might be an ideal strategy for working supportively with and guiding students through these challenges. Before proposing mentoring strategies, faculty and student perceptions of mentoring needed to be explored. The purpose of this study was to explore faculty and student perceptions of mentoring within the context of the following overarching research question: Q1 What is the experience and meaning of mentoring for nursing faculty and undergraduate nursing students? A qualitative research design utilizing a descriptive phenomenological method was used to conduct this study. Participants in the study included 8 nursing faculty members and 12 undergraduate nursing students, all of whom had experiences with mentoring--informal, formal, or both. They were asked to reflect on this experience in discussing interview questions posed to them. The participants were also asked to articulate a definition of mentoring, discuss whether mentoring was important for nursing students, and offer recommendations for mentoring nursing students. Data analysis of the interview transcripts from the students and faculty revealed four themes guided by an overarching theme of mentoring mitigating stress: (a) relationships and connections, (b) willingness and commitment to work together, (c) teaching and learning, and (d) personal characteristics. Faculty and student participants shared their thoughts on the benefits of mentoring and made recommendations for formalized mentoring programs that could meet the needs of students and faculty members with peers and faculty as mentors. Nursing educators and students need to work together to develop mentoring programs that meet their learning needs and create positive learning environments based on mentoring one another. Recommendations for further research were also made as mentoring in nursing education has not been explored in significant detail thus far.


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