Peer Mentors?

  1. I am considering talking to the dean at my nursing school about starting a peer mentoring program. The reason is that I am in my second semester of a ADN program that has had numerous problems among the students causing bad attitudes and low moral that seems to stem from fear and listening to rumors. The biggest problem is that from listening to those starting the program in the fall and those ahead of me in the program this seems to be a viscious cyle that every group is experiencing.
    I would like to start a program where the newbies can hear from someone ahead of them what to expect, what is truth and what is rumor, and what would be expected of them. I think it would be helpful because everyone knows that students never listen to faculty advice.

    My questions are the these.

    Do you have a program like this at your school?
    If So, does it help?
    If not, Do you think you (as a newbie or someone who has already been through the program) would benefit and participate? (It wouldn't be anything time consuming, of course.)

    Any input would be great!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from Danelle
    I am considering talking to the dean at my nursing school about starting a peer mentoring program. The reason is that I am in my second semester of a ADN program that has had numerous problems among the students causing bad attitudes and low moral that seems to stem from fear and listening to rumors. The biggest problem is that from listening to those starting the program in the fall and those ahead of me in the program this seems to be a viscious cyle that every group is experiencing.
    I would like to start a program where the newbies can hear from someone ahead of them what to expect, what is truth and what is rumor, and what would be expected of them. I think it would be helpful because everyone knows that students never listen to faculty advice.

    My questions are the these.

    Do you have a program like this at your school?
    If So, does it help?
    If not, Do you think you (as a newbie or someone who has already been through the program) would benefit and participate? (It wouldn't be anything time consuming, of course.)

    Any input would be great!
    We have a program like this. The class graduating a year before comes in and talks to us about what it is like going ahead in the program. We ask questions and they give us honest answers. It had mixed reactions. We liked that they were honest and straight-forward. But we only got to see them one time and only for about 20 minutes...so if there was a longer block of time set aside, that would have been better. If I were asked to go back and talk to students...I would like it.
  4. by   wonderbee
    We have a peer mentoring program. It is an NSA function for us. An incoming first semester student is matched up with a second semester student who volunteers. I had a mentor who contacted me shortly after I was notified I was admitted. She made herself available for questions and I found the whole thing quite helpful.
  5. by   lilbiskit78
    We also have a program like this at our school....the first year students are set up with a mentor who is a second year student.....email addresses are exchanged & the mentor emails the "mentee" letting them know questions are welcome. We also have a website where chat room is open for the nursing students. I did participate & plan to participate this year as a mentor (actually is my job to collect addresses from up & coming students), but a lot of people didn't. Similar to our nursing student's association...everyone was gung ho when it was first started.....now slowly attendence is decreasing, no one responds to emails I send out. Is frustrating for those of us who are involved...just a lot of people don't have time for anything else on top of school, family. It is a good idea though and if your school is willing, give it a shot!

    Lil
  6. by   manna
    I'm not completely familiar with the program since I haven't started nursing school yet (will know more about it in mid-July), but our school SNA sponsors a "Big Nurse-Little Nurse" program that's similar to this (senior students mentor junior students - BSN program). I think it's a GREAT idea!
  7. by   epg_pei
    But I can't tell you everything that entails, because I haven't done my orientation yet. In a nutshell though, peer mentors at our school help the first-year students get a grip on a new way of doing things ie university. They tell students how and where to access resources, who can do what for them in the faculty/staff, what is expected performance wise (things professors never told you) and generally act as a sounding board for issues that don't fit anyone elses job description. A lot of it is just listening to students dealing with a difficult program, in university, maybe in a strange city. Social support more or less
  8. by   mariedoreen
    I think it's an awesome idea. I'm starting this September, we have an orientation next week that is being hosted by the soon to be second year students. My understanding is that there will be an opportunity for questions etc.. during that time. I really like the idea of being assigned a 2nd year students as a mentor, someone you can go to with questions etc.. outside of the staff. I hope my school will do this too. Definitely go for it.
  9. by   jenrninmi
    Hi there,

    Yes, we have a program like this. I have never used it as I find out all the info I need at the SNA meetings. I know that our mentoring program helps a lot of students in our program though.
  10. by   Danelle
    Thanks for all of the replies everyone. My biggest concern is lack of participation. The next group will not come in until the fall, so I have a few weeks to get things together if I decide to do it. My friends think I should do it because of my personality (they all call me Mom). My school is bad about springing things on you at the last minute, and many people are not prepared for it, and in fact, get angry. Also, Because it is a community college, people think of it like it is 13th grade of high school, and are not prepared for how hard it really is and how much of a commitment it really takes. The students need to hear these things from someone other than a faculty member.

    Anyway, thanks so much, I am really glad to hear that there are programs at other schools to help the students out.
  11. by   Purple Princess
    At our school second year students can sign up if they want to mentor a first year student. I decided to get a mentor and found it very helpful. She gave me good advice for clinicals and coursework, what the other instructors are like, and has become a good friend. She has now graduated and will take her RN test soon. I hope we will continue to keep in contact. We also practiced skills in the lab from time to time. She encouraged me to participate more in class, in the nursing club, and at the flu shot clinics. She was very busy but did her best to mentor me. So it does work; it really helped me alot. She knows what I'm going through because she has been there. It works, it really does. Lots of luck
    Quote from Danelle
    I am considering talking to the dean at my nursing school about starting a peer mentoring program. The reason is that I am in my second semester of a ADN program that has had numerous problems among the students causing bad attitudes and low moral that seems to stem from fear and listening to rumors. The biggest problem is that from listening to those starting the program in the fall and those ahead of me in the program this seems to be a viscious cyle that every group is experiencing.
    I would like to start a program where the newbies can hear from someone ahead of them what to expect, what is truth and what is rumor, and what would be expected of them. I think it would be helpful because everyone knows that students never listen to faculty advice.

    My questions are the these.

    Do you have a program like this at your school?
    If So, does it help?
    If not, Do you think you (as a newbie or someone who has already been through the program) would benefit and participate? (It wouldn't be anything time consuming, of course.)

    Any input would be great!
  12. by   gina1982
    At my school , we had a program like that, but it did not work out. I was set up with this graduating senior in my program. We only talked once on the phone and she gave me some advice and recommended that I find another mentor who would still be in the program. When I talked to the people in charge of the program, they claimed they were going to set me up with another person, but never did. At my school, the students are much too busy to deal with that, unfortunantly. The best I could do there was to just talk to people whenever I could at random and that is as good as it gets. Hope things work out better for your school though!
  13. by   PCGrad06
    this sounds like a really great program. i will have to check and see if my school has one!

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