Finding a mentor

  1. I have been in nsg one year now, and I'm ready to figure out what to do next, to make plans for the future. I am ok with nursing, am reasonable successful at it, and feel I'd like to advance somehow. I'm 45, however, and need to sort of think NOW what I'd like to do for the next 15-20 years in nursing. And face it, I need to really put the energy into the next 10 years even, as I will be 60 in 15 years.

    Our managers sat down with us this past week to give us feedback, which I appreciated. My own feedback was good, and they said I was doing a great job. I was thankful for that -- but also felt they were discouraging me from moving anywhere else than beyond THEIR floor. I mentioned graduate school, and they could only respond with, "well, you'd be smart to stay here during school because going to another unit would only mean more work while you were in school." Those kind of messages. Everything seemed to point back to just staying on the unit and working hard where I was.

    I found it really weird that they didn't try to encourage me to be a better nurse and go higher, etc. It was all about staying put, being a strong nurse where I was, and nothing else. I found it utterly stifling.

    Don't they realize we as nurses as smart women, have hopes and dreams, and actually woudl like to earn a higher salary at some point? I mean -- THEY did it. THEY are in management now! Who mentored THEM? Who encouraged them?

    How does one make it off the floor and into higher paid positions? I know I've still got a lot to learn, but I'm still trying to plan now for a career path. I just don't want to have it "fall into my lap." I honestly DON'T have that kind of time left. I've raised a family already and now just really want to concentrate on my career, especially in a few years from now as my youngest even gets older.

    I just don't get it . . . why can't they encourage and mentor a new nurse -- not discourage. I don't know. I just want to find out HOW I can advance? They also stressed our hospital's clinical ladder as a way to advance, but honestly, that isnt' THAT much of a financial incentive.

    I don't know if it's my age that was driving it or what. It was just, in a word, discouraging.
  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   josinda421
    I definitely feel you. But if they aren't encouraging you, than YOU encourage yourself. YOU find your own menter who will take you by the hand. The hospital is only concerned about themselves and their own staffing needs; I don't think it has anything to do with you personaly. Like I said, find someone who is willing to take you by the hand.
  4. by   Ace1Rnelp

    You shouldn't be listening to them, especially if all they tell you are words of discouragement. I say go for it. If you are unable to find somebody to mentor you in your hospital, there are a lot of resources out there (books, Internet, nursing journals). And guess what? Members of (just became one) are always here for support, advise, and encouragement.

    If you want to pursue and further your education, go for it too. I went back to school and graduated with my MSN in 2005 after I had my BSN in 1980. Now that your kids are all grown (I suppose), this is the time for you to pursue your career. It is really difficult (from my experience) to work full time, be a Mom fulltime, and be a wife full time, but with family's support, anybody can do it. The good thing is, there are so many choices of schooling out there. You don't have to be tied up to a classroom anymore, if you don't want to. You could be at home in your PJs. How great is that!

    Good luck on your endevour.
  5. by   nminodob
    I think you have to set your age fears aside and be realistic - plenty of nurses pursue advanced degrees well into their 50s - my own NM got her masters at 57. If you feel able, apply to the programs you are interested in and see how the admissions committees feel about your chances. I think you may be surprised to discover that you will be welcomed.
  6. by   SoundofMusic
    Yes, I guess the answer to getting off the floor is graduate school. I'm not at all worried about my age in terms of going -- Just flabbergasted at how the managers were just so unencouraging. I mean -- don't they want nurses to advance? I guess I've just got to let go of that idea.

    Grad school it will be -- and even if I DO stay on my floor during that time, I WILL leave it, because, I'm sorry -- nursing just does not offer a person upward mobility in terms of salary. You MIGHT obtain a difference of perhaps $20-30K over a 15 year period -- that just isn't much.

    I just look at how hard I work. How unbelievably hard. A person wants to be rewarded for that -- not just told that it is all there is and that it's perfectly ok to just stay there forever. I mean -- it IS ok -- but many of us aspire to more. They need to realize that and nurture that in an employee.
  7. by   zuzi
    Sound of music the answer is very very easy... YOU don't need or expect that someone wish to mentoring and support you, because the mentality here is that one day, you could dream or fill them job position.. so why they will do that? I tried to find a perceptor for my school program... I was all over... no one... I think that is about my foreign language.... but looking now back at you it seems that is not only about that is about STYLE, people style.

    Long time ago I mentored a new nurse gurl, her first question was "When your contract will be finish in this hospital?" I look at her and i asked... "what a hell is happen with people here" another mentality that I used to be.

    From where i am, Mentors become famous by them "kids" spread in the world, it seems that here, mentors are not like that, kids kill mentors ASAP stabing back, is a wild world. So for this reason I think that no one wants to mentoring.

    I hope that you will fulfill your dreams somehow and you will become A MENTOR one day!
  8. by   SiennaGreen
    It's also probably likely that the nurse manager have their hands full. They're swamped and stressed, and HEY! They have a great nurse in you. It takes a big, selfless person to be encouraging you to leave in that situation. This is my second career also, and I have found that it is difficult to find mentors, especially among your immediate supervisors or people who have a stake in your work. If you're good at your job, unless they are incentivised to see you promoted...isn't going to happen!

    Try to think about people you have met along the path. I know last year, I met an instructor that I really just loved. I felt like we clicked as friends, equals...(we are closer to the same age than most) but while she indicated similar feelings, she felt it was inappropriate for us to have a friendship while I was her student. I understand and look forward to having lunch and gleaning wisdom from her now that the semester is over. You could also network at conferences, community outreach or volunteer events, any place that might draw nurses that you admire.

    All that to say, I'm sorry but don't take it personal. Ultimately, MOST people end up covering their own butts. You're managers probably don't want to lose you, take it as a compliment and start looking elsewhere.
  9. by   chicookie
    It sounds like they want you to stay there. Here they have a great nurse, of course they don't want to let you go!
    Remember, in this imperfect world the manager is going to do what is best for the floor. If that means not encouraging you so you would stay, they are going to do it.
    If anything think to yourself aw they like me and then go for your dreams. they can't stop you. Only you can stop you.