What to Expect from Nursing Mentors and Students Essay
This definition of mentor is ratified by Parsloe (2009): To support and encourage individuals to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.
Another NMC publication from 2006: “Standards to support learning and assessment in practice” says that The role of the sign-off mentor and/or practice teacher is to make judgments about whether a student has achieved the required standards of proficiency for safe and effective practice for entry to the NMC register.
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When we try to find a standard definition of good mentor, we usually find a lack of coherent guidance on what mentors should be and should do or how they should behave (Clutterbuck 2004). Authors’ points of views of what makes a good mentor often conflict or at best are widely variable (Andrews and Wallis 1999). Research carried out by Hicks (2011) indicated that a good mentor is someone with a depth of knowledge in the subject his are teaching. Contrary to this, however, a small qualitative study by Cahill (1996) showed that students when asked the question what made a good mentor answered that someone who was friendly, approachable and could give constructive criticism. This only highlights the discrepancy in what actually makes a good mentor. The NMC have their own framework with which nursing mentors should be guided by as set out in the document Standards to support learning and assessment in practice (NMC 2008). They include establishing effective working relationships, facilitating learning (adapting teaching to the students stage of learning), being able to evaluate practice and provide