|The process of mentoring in nursing: a study of proteges' perceptions of the mentor-protege relationship|
Jane Carangelo Slagle
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Tags: Mentoring in the professions, Nursing
THE PROCESS OF MENTORING IN NURSING: A STUDY OF PROTEGES∆ PERCEPTIONS OF THE MENTOR - PROTEGE RELATIONSHIP
Jane Carangelo Slagle
This study investigated the phases of the mentor-protege relationship from the protege∆s perspective. Its purpose was to identify elements inherent in mentoring relationships and present a perspective on mentor-protege relationships in the career development of nurses. The focus was on a mentor relationship as a type of helping relationship, involving an interpersonal encounter between mentor and protege, in which caring, trust and concern for each other was essential. Processes involved in the beginning, development and end phases of the relationship were identified.
The study sample was drawn from 50 members of the Academy of Nursing who resided in four Northeastern states. These outstanding nurse scholars and leaders were most likely to have experienced a mentor relationship. Of the 44 who responded to a request to participate, 28 reported having mentors, but only 25 nurses agreed to participate.
Interviews were conducted using an instrument designed by the investigator. Demographic data were obtained from curriculum vitae of the sample. Interviews were tape-recorded, pertinent data were abstracted and data were coded in several categories for analysis.
Study findings revealed that mentor-protege relationships were significant factors in the career development of these nursing leaders. Relationships were characterized by the protege∆s gradual shift from dependency on the mentor in the beginning of the relationship, to increasing independence and autonomy of the protege as the relationship developed. Relationships were perceived as helpful and supportive, involving a two-way give-and-take process between the mentor and protege that became more balanced as the relationships evolved. Relationships became collegial partnerships or friendships, depending on the extent of involvement between the mentor and protege. Mentors and proteges were perceived to share similar attitudes, beliefs and values. Relationships were affected by the protege∆s abilities and needs, the stage of the protege∆s career development, the talents and willingness of the mentor to help and the setting in which the relationship developed. Proteges usually became mentors to other nurses.