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  1. McCloughen, Andrea PhD
  2. O'Brien, Louise PhD
  3. Jackson, Debra PhD


Mentoring relationships are dynamic alliances that can be used as a supportive mechanism for growing nurse leaders and promoting the future of the nursing profession. This article explores imagination as one of the central meanings of being a mentor for nursing leadership. Findings from a hermeneutic-phenomenological study concerned with Australian nurse leaders' experiences and understandings of mentorship for leadership revealed that imagination was a key characteristic of being a nurse leader-mentor. Imagination that moved beyond fantasy to closely connect with reason was essential for nurse leader-mentors to recognize and activate the myriad possibilities available to mentees and the nursing profession more broadly.