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Skills and Qualities of Mentors for Community Nursing

Skills and Qualities of Mentors for Community Nursing


The nature of the nursing profession is to provide comprehensive health care to the individual, family and community in either healthy or diseased condition to which the nurse must receive a scientific, technological and humanistic education, requiring for this purpose that the nursing faculty possesses features that enable it not only become a facilitator of learning, promoting student interaction with learning object but to develop it social sensitivity, humanism and values (Bally: 2007). This emphasizes on the need to investigate the required features or skills in the mentors teaching nursing. The objective of this paper is to critically analyze the characteristics and skills required in professional, technical, pedagogical and affective attitudes in the teaching of technical areas of nursing. It is of vital importance as the mentors are those involved in the formation of future nurses. Mentoring is major support for young nurses and nursing assistants, in addition to recognizing the former practice and the exceptional qualities of experienced nurses acting as mentors. Current experience of mentoring young nurses seems extremely powerful solutions for recruitment and retention of nurses (Aston & Hallam: 2011).


The training of Health has always been a concern both latent institutions by providing training and answering those who agree that the interest of the Education of human resources in health to the current realities of health situation of the world, have evidence of this World Conference on Medical Education (London 1953), Medical The V Conference “Medical Education today, attention Medical tomorrow “(Caracas, 1974) IV Education Workshop Health Sciences (Washington 1975), 1st Meeting on basic principles for the development of education health in Latin America and the Caribbean (Venezuela 1976), XIV National Congress of Nursing “Science of Nursing Commitment a Pro” (Peru 2000) (Bally: 2007).

Among the resources available to the school to meet its objectives are: the infrastructure of the institution, hospital locations, community, the curriculum, teachers etc. However although the management training curriculum is the responsibility of the school authorities, professional academic nursing is teachers who develop the curriculum that is why they are considered the main strength of an educational institution (Bally: 2007). Currently they are considered among other things the teacher acting as a facilitator of learning, facilitating opportunities for students to experience different experiences that locate the student contact with reality, creating situations that lead to transfer the learning, and raising meaningful learning (Aston & Hallam: 2011).

Asmat et al in 1988 suggest that the teacher must have a nursing high dominance of its course, worry about getting along with students, prepared in university teaching, must define the objectives and actions that he expects his students to achieve, should have exercised his profession, deepen their knowledge, encourage health team participation and maintain adequate communication with the healthcare team and students between other (Kilgallon & Thompson: 2012). Therefore it is now a concern knowing the qualities required to be a nursing mentor to achieve effective contribution in the preparation of this health professional.

Mentoring is dependent of effective role models in the context of relationships between two people, based on self-directed learning, provides a safe environment for critical thinking and practice and includes interventions of giving opinions and advice to guide, sponsor, recognize strengths and to provide constructive feedback (Bally: 2007).

Mentoring bridges the gap between education and real-world experiences. Coaching, guiding and contributing to the role of awareness and attention to the needs and concerns of followers are basic features that mentors must possess. Mentoring has been defined as synonymous with being competent (being competent) and be confident (self-confident) and quality of career success as well as having the ability and desire to help others (followers) to obtain that success (Kilgallon & Thompson: 2012).

Mentors are these career women, holders of knowledge and remarkable skills who try to keep this knowledge to the mid to benefit location. At the time of retirement, rather than be losing their knowledge and skills, why not use these resources for nurses as transverse teams, mentors for beginners and even as a role model for nurses less experienced or newly integrated into a service. Mentoring is a simple system applicable everywhere, in all specialties. It turns out highly profitable for individuals and for institutions (Kilgallon & Thompson: 2012).

Given that teachers are instrumental in the process of student learning for achieving stated academic profile professional training curriculum in an educational institution, it is necessary to know the characteristics that it must possess in order to contribute to this result; because the teacher becomes a role model for the student as well as a reference for learning where students can use during their training (Aston & Hallam: 2011).

In this sense the agencies involved in the training task must prevent the teacher becomes a learning resource untapped when only exposes and what they have read in books and magazines. In this era of globalization and competitiveness should ensure that the teacher is able to guide the use of knowledge, and cognitive, procedural and attitudinal skills in students and facilitate the discovery features or capabilities (Smith et al: 2001).

Gloria Vasquez (1987) conducted a research whose objectives were to identify the characteristics that should be met by the nursing faculty, in the opinion of students by level of teaching learning; identify the degree of congruence between the opinions of teachers and students about the characteristics required by a nursing teacher. It employed the descriptive survey design type in a sample of 109 nursing students pre-degree (27.25%) and 26 teachers (65%) in whom a questionnaire type scale was applied (Smith et al: 2001). Arriving among others to the following conclusions regarding the personal characteristics: the teacher must maintain permanent dialogue at all aspects of professional education; the teacher should be the transmitter professional model for students. In relation to the professional characteristics: the nursing teacher through teaching work should contribute to strengthening the image of the professional that teachers maintain ongoing contact with members of the health team where attending students, teachers need to promote institutional exchange materials and library resources to improve student nursing learning.

Regarding the cognitive characteristics of nursing teachers must master research methodologies for thesis guidance. The Teacher must apply the process nursing unified methodology of teaching students. This work allows routing the definition of objectives; the construction of the theoretical framework, was geared toward determining the population and sample, inclusion criteria, exclusion and removal also guided the construction of the instrument (Eller et al: 2014).

In the School of Connecticut US in 1976, Jane Dixon and Beverly Koerner conducted a descriptive study “Faculty and student perceptions of effective teaching in nursing, “not exactly determines the population, this was done in 3 phases: first 6 different opinions regarding the effectiveness of teaching was identified, in the second phase of a study of validity of known groups was made, to identify the buildings or opinions that were used by students to differentiate teachers “Good” from “bad”, in the third phase the concepts that students were evaluated and analyzed the factors, two in particular were identified: the prescriptive individual approach and systemic theoretical presentation. This study came among others to the following conclusion: In the case of nursing faculty how they treat people and their quality of presentation are the most common ways that students use to evaluate the effectiveness of their teacher (Kilgallon & Thompson: 2012).

Required Skills and Qualities of a Nursing Mentor for Community Nursing:

A Nursing professional for mentoring community nursing should have an integral education based on scientific, technological and humanistic principles that enable to give comprehensive nursing care, integrated, high quality individual and group population, at any stage of the life cycle of health and disease process that found. Participate with members of the health team and other sectors to support the solution of health problems and improves the quality of life by contributing to the national development. He is qualified to teach in nursing in the early stages, administer nursing services and conducting research in the area of Nursing and other related areas to the health field (Eller et al: 2014).

If it is expected that the mentor has all these capabilities, then should constantly evaluate the whole process of learning, especially in their teaching and student factors that are the foundations on which this process occurs. In this way they observe as the teacher favors positively with all characteristics so that the learner can get to reach academic and professional profile (Smith et al: 2001).

A mentor’s profile is the description of his characteristics and his potential skills. It constitutes knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. The importance of teaching nursing is competent, i.e. is capable of efficient teaching to achieve its participation meaningful learning in students. Learning is significant as the interest or need of the subject, it is related to their previous experiences, has been prepared by the subject and applied in everyday life (Ibitayo et al: 2014).

Therefore nursing education currently immersed in the concept of quality education requires teachers whose commitment is to promote the active participation of the learner, instilling in him building his knowledge, preparing for the new professional meet future challenges, to be able to implement strategies aimed at transformation of their reality (Walsh: 2010). According to a research study, a good teacher has to respond to a profile based on:

  • His scientific training
  • His education – teaching
  • His affective qualities (Eller et al: 2014)

As for community service, the mentors should extend their educational action for those who are not regular students; in this regard, organize advocacy and dissemination of general education and professional studies, which will lead to certification. It is time that the teaching out of the classroom and moved to the reality on the ground, with this activity the university, through its teachers and students get to know the social, making a diagnosis in which plans and executes actions proposed as an alternative of solution (Stewart & Krueger: 1996).

A mentor should have a set of knowledge and skills possessed by the nurse for nursing practice, both in its instrumental part (defined as the ability to perform their job properly), and in its part that is humanistic social refers to the ability of the nurse to interpret and transform the means, that is, characteristic cognitive domains and psychomotor skills that must hold in this case the nurse as se, i.e. the rulers of our profession; This factor is essential and indispensable in teaching  since the student seeks in this teaching both practical and theoretical to the profession, referred as to know-how and know known, that is, handling of information (for example, the process of care Nursing), critical sense, having a broad culture, learn to discover and the second case involves applying that information to modify reality (Stewart & Krueger: 1996).

As mentioned in a study that a professional is a person who deals repeatedly such cases belonging to the domain of his expertise, as a product of these repeated experiences will develop a range of skills, strategies, images, expectations and skills to enable them to assess the situations they face and decide courses most appropriate action, i.e. a professional is really professional when he is able to adapt his action to resolve problems of the world around; this is the ability that the professional must acquire during training (Walsh: 2010).

Furthermore, the nurse does not escape the rationality, i.e. first knowledge in action, which is a result of the previous professional experiences; second reflection in action, which is the ability of professional think about what they do while performing the action; third reflection on action, time in which professionals can analyze their performance feedback for his performance and improve it. The teacher must be able to route to the learner by an analogous process in teaching practices, for which the teacher must have mastery of the discipline it teaches, must constantly update their knowledge, to innovate in their profession, must demonstrate in this case the nursing domain as a science and art (Ibitayo et al: 2014).

The mentor must creatively and critically transfer information and knowledge among the areas of learning; must demonstrate ability in scientific problem identification, formulation, organization and review of research problems; must be critical constructor of knowledge; creatively reconstruct the information and experiences gained in his nursing career; dominate the theoretical and techniques of planning, implementation and educational evaluation of nursing; dominate the theoretical and methodology to actively participate in curriculum development processes of nursing, plans educational programs; must identify the purpose, goals and objectives of their curriculum specialty, should stimulate the logical, critical, reflective and creative thinking in students according to their level of development; should efficiently and creatively use various means of mass communication and technological resources available to them in the planning of teaching and learning activities, should be conceived as part of the evaluation process training that helps strengthen and provide feedback to teaching and learning, provides information (Stewart & Krueger: 1996).

Younger people are more in need of support than authority. They like to recognize a mentor and a competent partner. They appreciate that they are supported by them in their learning, provide them with opportunities to experience and learn from their mistakes. They should also benefit from the clinical management of a contact person, if possible 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer questions or give their advice or a helping hand. Mentoring programs are important in this regard, provided that young people understand that they have been set up to help them and not to evaluate them constantly. Otherwise, they will be afraid to use this service. Finally, it is important that young people have access to continuing education, even if they are not holding a job and have accumulated little seniority (Walsh: 2010).

Working in a flying squad increases stress of young nurses and hamper the development of their skills. It is one of the tact of their mentor to manage them in such a way strengthening a sense of belonging. Create opportunities to work as a team and develop personal and professional relationships and thus strengthen the sense of youth. Also, by listening to and involving them as much as possible in decision making and determination of goals, they will feel that their views and their contribution are important (Wilkes: 2006). The creation of a committee of nursing notes will allow them, for example, present their ideas and suggestions. But it is also the time to improve the work in care units, such as changing the type of feeding pump, should be asked the opinion of nurses. They will feel more involved and will be less resistant to changes http://www.nmc-uk.org/templates/pages/Search?q=mentoring%20community%20nurses.

Moreover, the Young people have great need for recognition, particularly from their immediate supervisor. Indeed, recognition is the engine of professional development, confidence, team’s spirit and, therefore, the sense of belonging. To express this, it is appropriate to follow-up, to hold occasional meetings or to create a rewards program (e.g. the nurse of the month). It is important to emphasize the good shots. These strategies provide a clear idea of what skills and qualities a mentor should possess (Wilkes: 2006).

In conclusion, mentors are experienced nurses who act as managers of young nurses to initiate change required to ensure a quality succession and healthy work environment. They have to act like a leader not to make the nurses feel as if they are being evaluated and judged all the time. A mentor of nursing is no doubt a living source of experiential knowledge (Wilkes: 2006).


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Eller, L. S., Lev, E. L., & Feurer, A. (2014). Key components of an effective mentoring relationship: A qualitative study. Nurse education today, 34(5), 815-820.

Ibitayo, K., Baxley, S., & Bond, M. L. (2014). A positive culture brings success: Kristina Ibitayo and colleagues reflect on the benefits of the mentoring process to a healthcare organisation. Nursing Management, 21(3), 13-13.

Kilgallon, K., & Thompson, J. (2012). Mentoring in nursing and healthcare: A practical approach. John Wiley & Sons. www.wiley.com/go/mentoring

Smith, L. S., McAllister, L. E., & Crawford, C. S. (2001). Mentoring benefits and issues for public health nurses. Public Health Nursing, 18(2), 101-107.

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Walsh, D. (2010). The Nurse Mentor’S Handbook: Supporting Students In Clinical Practice: Supporting Students in Clinical Practice. McGraw-Hill International.

Wilkes, Z. (2006). The student-mentor relationship: a review of the literature. Nursing standard, 20(37), 42-47.



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