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Qualitative research, Mentoring



  1. Cypress, Brigitte S. EdD, RN, CCRN


Conducting a qualitative research study is a long, arduous, and laborious endeavor. The novice and early-career researchers, including graduate students, can be overwhelmed by the complexity of the methods used in conducting a naturalistic inquiry. Despite the recognized importance of mentoring in different fields, a research supervisor is almost always used to guide the neophytes in their pursuit of completing a research investigation in nursing. Supervising is task-oriented, whereas mentoring involves caring, role-modeling, emotional support, and guidance including the long-term development of the mentee. Research mentoring relationships are critical to the satisfaction of both the mentor and the mentee that leads to a successful completion of a qualitative inquiry and, eventually, for their academic and professional advancement. Mentees are advised to seek mentors and to establish formal mentoring relationships with them. It is also suggested that institutions support the value and work of mentors. Future studies must address failed mentoring liaisons, and assess and use different strategies for effective mentorship for both the mentor and the mentee. The purpose of this article is to discuss the role of mentoring in successfully completing a scholarly inquiry that will help in equipping novices with the knowledge, skills, and confidence that will empower them to navigate the difficult and long journey of a qualitative investigation.