E-Mentoring: A New Model of Mentoring to Support Healthy Nurse Work Environments
Repository Posting Date2013-05-13T10:26:22Z
Author(s)Pietsch, Theresa M.
Author DetailsTheresa M. Pietsch, PhD, RN, CRRN, CNE
Lead Author Sigma AffliationEta Beta
Other Title(s)Clinical Session: Developing Competent Communication Skills
Session presented on Saturday, April 13, 2013: The purpose of this presentation is to present a new model of nurse mentoring that can meet the needs of a multigenerational workforce, working in fast-paced and highly demanding healthcare environments. E-mentoring is an innovative form of mentoring that uses the Internet as the primary communication vehicle, replacing face-to-face and synchronous communication linked to traditional nurse mentoring. By minimizing time restrictions and eliminating geographical and hierarchical boundaries, this Internet dependent mentoring model can increase nurses' access to mentors beyond established structured and environmental boundaries, while providing a generational adaptation for mentoring novice nurses and accessing qualified and accomplished nurses for mentors. Steps to successfully transition from traditional nurse mentoring to an Internet dependent model of mentoring will be highlighted using the results of a quantitative study (N=139). Findings provided empirical evidence that nurses have positive attitudes toward e-mentoring, scored high on facilitators that support e-mentoring, and low on constraints that block this model. Age did not preclude nurses from having positive attitudes toward e-mentoring. Facilitators identified included computer access at work and home, while constraints included the lack of non-verbal cues with asynchronous communication, e-mail fatigue, and confidentiality and anonymity concerns. Administrators and educators can use the evidence to focus the majority of their resources on nurses who are likely to engage in e-mentoring. Implications to nurses, nurse educators, and administrators striving for Magnet designation will be discussed. Overall, this model of mentoring provides a variety of configuration options that range from a dyad to numerous mentors and proteges working together simultaneously, and is considered a contemporary 21st century mentoring model that meets generational learning needs without the burden of 'walls'. While this model can also be referred to as an Internet mentoring community, e-mentoring can positively influence today's workforce to create healthy nursing work environments of tomorrow.