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A Legacy of Mentorship in Nursing

The role that nurses play in healthcare is extremely important, as professional nurses are quite often just as hands-on with patients as the doctors who ultimately treat them. In addition to collecting patient information, running diagnostic tests, and diligently charting everything, amongst other clinical and clerical duties, it often falls to nurses to provide patients with information and moral support during their time of need. Because of the unique nature of nursing and the intricacies of the job, many experienced nurses go out of their way to provide on-the-job training for newer members of their profession. This passing on of knowledge is crucial to improved patient care.

Before there was a formal nursing profession, religious orders and military groups provided nursing care. Today, nursing is a growing field replete with leadership opportunities. The field reached this point thanks to mentorship; nursing relies heavily on shared knowledge and experience. As you progress in your own career, there are several reasons why you should take advantage of mentorship, as well as participate in mentoring other nurses down the line.

Preserve accumulated knowledge
The sum of knowledge needed to be a “good” nurse cannot be fully imparted through technical or class training only. Providing patient care requires more than knowing how to check vital signs, take a blood pressure reading, or administer medication at the command of a supervising physician. Learning to interact with patients is an essential part of this career path, and the necessity to accumulate knowledge, skill, and technique on the job cannot be overstated. As a nurse, you should be prepared to watch, listen, and learn all you can from the men and women who are willing to offer you the wealth of their own experiences. You will improve your performance as a result and gain valuable knowledge that you can one day pass on to your own successors in the nursing profession.

Preserve standards of care
When nurses fail to work together, standards of care are certain to suffer. A nursing staff that operates like a well-oiled machine, however, populated by individuals that trust and rely on one another, is far more likely to uphold the highest possible standards for patient care thanks to increased communication and shared knowledge.

Support colleagues
Although there are circumstances in which nurses will find themselves working alone, perhaps caring for patients in-home or in other alternative settings, this profession generally requires teamwork. And as a member of a team, it is your responsibility to work with the group towards reaching your common goals. Mentorship plays an important role in ensuring that new nurses learn how to get along and work together on behalf of patients, a skill that can benefit them for their entire careers.

Retain staff
For many, nursing is not a career – it is a calling. And it takes a special type of person to shoulder the burdens associated with providing not only medical care, but also the emotional support many patients need to get through their healthcare issues. Not everyone is suited for this profession, which can be challenging. A good mentor can help other nurses to cope with the hardships inherent to the job, as well as learn to experience the many rewards associated with nursing.

Serve patients
The ultimate value of mentorship lies in the fact that when nurses help each other, patients are able to receive the best possible care. When nurses commit to the idea of a lifelong learning process related to their work, the entire nursing profession and its patients benefit.

In order to be a mentor to other nurses, consider getting your online DNP degree to help expand your expertise and put you in a leadership position.