Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Where we write about mentoring or being mentored
Each time I’m assigned a new nurse to orient I take on the mentoring role.  They are so excited to finally get to touch a patient and they are sponges for learning.  But it’s not just the day-to-day learning that they need.  I teach them how to navigate the obstacles they may encounter and provide strategies for overcoming the burnout that can ensue after the ‘high’ of graduation.  It’s also trying to deal with older nurses who have ‘seen it all’, management demands, schedules, how to deal with working nights, etc.  I also empower them to reach further and search for leadership opportunities and ways to advance in their career.  Several of the new graduates that I have oriented have begun to climb the clinical ladder and are finishing up their second degree studies.  I’m so proud of them!
Many years ago I was a 2nd LT, Army Nurse, working on a Medical-Surgical floor.  On any particular day it would be a Licensed Practical Nurse  and a 91 Bravo, or nurses aide working alongside me.  This particular 91 B (I wish I could remember his name!) was hard working and extremely dedicated to his job.  I would talk to him about his plans for the future, encouraging him to continue his schooling.  Many years later he wrote me a letter thanking me for my support and stating that he went back to school, received his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing AND a commission in the United States Army Nurse Corp.  I’m so proud to have made a difference in one persons life!