Finding a nurse mentor

  1. 1 Hi everyone! Can someone provide advice on how I can find a nurse mentor? As a nursing student, I volunteer and have clinicals at prominent NYC hospitals, but in both instances, I always find that the nurses are too busy to talk to. I feel like every minute I take to ask questions, is time taken away from their work and the last thing I want to do is inconvenience them. I just do my best stay out of the way. For the most part, I have found CNAs to be more approachable and usually I bug them for tasks that I can do on the floor to help them out.

    I would really like a mentor, who I can go to for guidance. What is the best way to do this? I searched allnurses but couldn't really find anything. If I missed some relevant threads, please direct me to them. Many thanks!!!
    Last edit by JustBeachyNurse on May 24, '13
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  3. Visit  MedSurgRN14 profile page

    About MedSurgRN14

    Joined Aug '12; Posts: 50; Likes: 6.

    11 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  Annaiya profile page
    I would talk to your clinical instructor. It sounds like you are not getting good clinical experiences at all! A good nurse can manage their patients and provide a good learning experience for their students. It doesn't take much extra time to ask your student questions. I would not ask the CNAs for tasks, that's really not what you're there to do. And if your nurse isn't teaching you, ask them questions! Maybe they don't think you're interested in being there if all you're doing is "staying out of their way." And even if they seem annoyed, still ask questions and learn what you can. It is your job as a student to learn the RN role. You will struggle to pass boards if you don't make the most of your clinical experiences. Finding an outside mentor is not going to help. Your school should be working with you to make sure you're getting good clinical experiences.
  5. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    We have a nursing student assistance section where many of us who are experienced answer questions and guide students. Ask the nurses even if they seem annoyed that is what you are there for....Columbia is a teaching environment so they should be no stranger to students. Talk to you instructor...they should be the ones mentoring you. write questions down and ask them later...or post them here and we will try to help.

    Here are some thinking sheets to help you keep track of what you need

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students

    student clinical report sheet for one patient

    I have made some for nursing students and some other an members (daytonite, RIP) have made these for others.....adapt them way you want. I hope they help - See more at:

    brain sheets for the are a few.

    1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc
    ICU report sheet.doc‎
    Lev <3, GrnTea, whealer, and 1 other like this.
  6. Visit  NurseOnAMotorcycle profile page
    Quote from missacheung
    I would really like a mentor, who I can go to for guidance. What is the best way to do this?
    Well, I'd try asking a clinical question to one of the nicer ones on their lunch break or some other time like after they've reported off and have a second. If it works out, they won't mind answering questions during their shift either.

    On the other hand, there's always AllNurses too. .. Watch for esme12, rubyvee, green tea and the others who have a lot of experience and don't mind answering questions.

    There's only one thing, though. Don't ever try to get AllNurses to answer homework questions for you, ok?
    Lev <3, GrnTea, and Esme12 like this.
  7. Visit  Annaiya profile page
    Quote from Esme12

    Here are some thinking sheets to help you keep track of what you need

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students

    Esme12, I love that flow sheet, and wish I had had that for my nursing student who just did her capstone with me. Only 1 thing that I saw needs to be changed. The second page should say (Treatment by Licensed Doctors or Nurse Practitioners).
    Esme12 likes this.
  8. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    Quote from Annaiya

    Esme12, I love that flow sheet, and wish I had had that for my nursing student who just did her capstone with me. Only 1 thing that I saw needs to be changed. The second page should say (Treatment by Licensed Doctors or Nurse Practitioners).
    True......I will have to get to that....these are guidelines I always encourage students/nurses to use these to create their own.
  9. Visit  Ashley, PICU RN profile page
    Esme is my mentor.
    GrnTea and havehope like this.
  10. Visit  Ashley, PICU RN profile page
    OP, what are you looking for from a mentor? If you're looking for an experience nurse to offer you personal guidance, advice, and support on a continuing basis?

    If that's what you're looking for, you're probably not going to find that from a staff RN in a clinical rotation. Unless you're assigned to precept with one nurse, you may not see the same nurse more than two or three times in a semester. While these nurses might be willing to teach while you're there for your clinical, their primary focus is their patients. They have many, many students come through their doors each semester, and becoming a personal mentor to those students is simply not a commitment they are able to, or even thinking about, making.

    For the time being, I would seek that kind of personal relationship from your clinical instructors or school professors. They have years of experience and likely have greater ability to spend time with you and provide the sort of mentoring that you're looking for. Your professors have a wealth of knowledge that they can offer you. Remember that you're in college and both you and your instructors are adults. Yes, there are professional boundaries surrounding your relationship with your instructors, but by no means does that prevent you from forming a close relationship, or even friendship.

    Once you have graduated and have your first job, seek a mentor from your co-workers. Find someone whose practice and character you respect and admire. Once you've begun a relationship with this person, ask them directly if they would be willing to be your mentor.
    Esme12 likes this.
  11. Visit  passionate07 profile page
    I know it has been about a year since you posted but have you found or still in need of a nursing mentor? If so, pm me!id love to chat w/ you. I have great interest in this area.
  12. Visit  Lev <3 profile page
    You may find that your mentor finds you. I wasn't looking for a mentor per say, but I was assigned to an experienced CC RN in the PACU for my senior practicum and we hit it off. she has become my friend and mentor.
  13. Visit  rbs105 profile page
    Just curious, but did you ever find a mentor? It is a year and a half since you posted this....I'm just wondering how it turned out and what you did?
  14. Visit  MedSurgRN14 profile page
    My deepest apologies for the delay in response and a big thank you to everyone who replied! Your advice was incredibly helpful and thank you Esme for all the documents you attached.

    At the time, I was going to NYU and our high student ratio (4-6) during clinical rotations kept most nurses away. Ashley, you were right when you said staff RNs were not the ideal candidates for mentorship since our nurses varied each shift. NYU's clinical experience was highly lacking seeing that we only had 6 clinical days for each semester, so no matter how aggressive we were in maximizing our learning experience, it was never enough. Academically, it was good, but clinically, it fared poorly.

    I am part of a number of professional nursing organizations and have sought out mentors that way. Two groups paired me up with a mentor, through mentorship programs, but after an initial email correspondence BOTH mentors disappeared and I never heard back from them. One of the groups found me a new mentor so we will see how that goes.

    The hospital I work at now has great nurses for the most part and I will definitely ask one to be my mentor if we connect on that level, after my probation period. Right now I am just trying to stay afloat!

    My advice: I agree clinical instructors may serve as good candidates for mentorship as well as nurses you meet via professional nursing organizations. For the latter, meetings usu happen outside of the clinical setting so nurses will have more time to talk with you and may be more open to the idea of mentorship. Imo, professional nursing organizations are always looking to recruit new members and expand their membership base. One of the perks to joining could be an established mentorship program.
    rbs105 likes this.

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