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With the faculty shortage, nurse educators new to an organization or a school of nursing are often assigned complex responsibilities. Their obligations may include mastering the learning management system, planning and coordinating different types of nursing courses, and developing tests, among others. Overwhelmed faculty, ineffective teaching, frustrated students, and turnover may result from this initiation. Traditional mentoring programs offer support and advising; however, the mentors themselves may not be experienced educators and may be unsure of best practices to guide proteges. A model that compares the relationship of a mentor and a protege with that of a nurse and a patient provides a precise direction for successful mentorships. The acronym MENTOR offers a quick 6-step reference: Make compatible pairings. Have the mentor and new nurse educator spend some time together to see whether they "click." Can they be serious but also laugh? Do they welcome constructive feedback? Expect active involvement. Mentoring is more than only "words"; mentors take the hand and walk a protege through a process from communication through emails to content delivery. Lead by example. Nurture development. A mentor is fully present, listens with fresh ears, and offers resources for success. Teach from start to finish, every step of the way throughout an entire academic year. Instruction in real time is best practice. Offer commitment. The protege should never feel deserted or alone in approaching a task. Finally, be a role model who inspires and encourages professional development.


By Peggy A. Shaw, MSN/ED, RN, Associate Professor, and Miriam Abbott, MA, Assistant Professor, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Columbus, Ohio, ([email protected]).