The Importance of Having a Mentor Before Beginning Your Nursing Education

In this article, we discuss ways that nurse mentors can aid you in the pursuit of gaining perspective on the current state of healthcare.

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Over the last decade, many aspiring professionals have begun to pursue careers as nurses for a variety of reasons. These include decent salaries, secure employment, and room to advance as a professional.

However, while nursing roles are undoubtedly admirable jobs to pursue, it’s not always easy to transition into these roles. Thankfully, there’s a keyway that aspiring nurses can simplify their process of becoming healthcare professionals.

Specifically, finding a nursing mentor prior to becoming qualified as a nurse can make the process significantly less stressful and overwhelming. Understanding ways that nurse mentors can aid you in this pursuit is key to gaining perspective on the current state of healthcare.

Here is the importance of having a mentor before beginning your nursing education.

1. Helping You Understand Various Educational Paths

While many are unaware, there are actually a wide variety of educational paths that you can take to become qualified as a nurse. Exactly which educational path you choose will depend on a variety of factors such as your career goals, career timeline, and learning style.

For some, finding programs that are accelerated can be a great way to efficiently become qualified for nursing positions. Oftentimes, these types of programs are attractive to individuals looking to pursue a second career.

Others, however, will find that the structure and guidance one finds in a traditional program are better suited to their learning style. For younger aspiring professionals, these types of programs are more alluring due to their all-encompassing nature and the opportunities they provide for making connections with others.

Beyond specific types of programs, there are also different levels of qualifications that you can receive. Which types of qualifications you pursue should depend on which type of nursing role you intend to step into along with other career goals. For example, aspiring nurses may be wondering what the differences are between ABSN and BSN programs and which is better for their unique situation.

Ultimately, nurse mentors who have themselves been through the process can be an amazing resource for aspiring nurses at this stage of their development. Rather than being overwhelmed by the educational process and the choices that come with it, mentors can provide their mentees with key information and guidance that make this process less distressing and more valuable.

2. Helping You Understand Which Specialty is Right for You

Within the nursing field, there is a large variety of different specialties and roles that you can step into. From OR nurses to travelling nurses, there are many different roles that require different types of commitments from nurses.

For aspiring nurses, it’s essential to gain a deep understanding of all of the different nursing careers and what they entail. In addition, it’s key that aspiring nurses are aware of advanced nursing careers and what type of experience and education they must complete before stepping into them.

Fortunately, nurse mentors are a perfect resource for gaining a deeper understanding of nursing roles and what they entail. For one, a nurse mentor will be able to explain what they do in their specific role and what types of duties they do most regularly. In addition, they often have access to other veteran nurses in different departments who they can connect their mentees with.

In this way, mentors can play a crucial role in helping their mentees decide which form of nursing is best for them. As such, this is one of the main reasons that aspiring nurses should seek out a mentor before becoming qualified for a nursing role.

3. Helping You Develop Professional Skills

One of the hardest aspects of becoming a nurse is learning and developing the many skills one needs to perform nursing duties effectively. These can range from taking patient vitals to administering medication. Without a firm grasp of these skills, nurses run the risk of harming patients and causing a variety of problems in their work environment.

For these reasons, it’s key that nurses undergo significant amounts of training before stepping into the role. While nursing programs will imbue aspiring nurses with many of these skills, having the one-on-one attention of mentors can help aspiring nurses develop a deeper understanding and grasp of the professional skills they’ll need to have as nurses.

Some key professional skills that aspiring nurses should develop include:

• Communication
• Time management
• Problem-solving
• Critical thinking
• Knowledge of nursing processes

However, developing these skills can often be difficult when you are trying to do so on your own. For this reason, those intent on pursuing careers as nurses can make the process significantly easier by enlisting the help of a mentor with prior experience.

4. Helping You Find Networking Opportunities

Today, due to the national nursing shortage, qualified nurses are in high demand. However, just because it’s overly difficult for nurses to find employment opportunities doesn’t mean that all nursing roles are created equally.

Different roles can have vastly different pros and cons depending on a wide variety of factors. These factors include salary, work setting, professional peers, and opportunities for good work-life balance. Unfortunately, finding nursing roles that tick all of these boxes isn’t always a walk in the park.

Thankfully, nurse mentors can significantly simplify this process. This is because nurse mentors will likely have a wide network of healthcare professionals that they’ve developed throughout their careers. By sharing these networks with their mentees, nurse mentors are basically sharing job opportunities and making it easier for mentees to land ideal employment.

For this reason, having a nurse mentor is absolutely vital for aspiring nurses in today’s evolving healthcare landscape. As such, anyone thinking about stepping into a nursing role should do everything in their power to connect with a great nurse mentor and simplify the process of becoming qualified as a nurse and stepping into a great role.

Nursing Mentors are Gamechangers

Though they’re not often talked about, any nurse who has had a nurse mentor knows the profound value that they can bring. From helping you navigate through the nursing education process to helping you find amazing employment opportunities, the benefits of having a nurse mentor are seemingly endless. Hopefully, enlisting the help of nurse mentors will soon become a normalised course of action among aspiring nurses across the country.

To learn more about how mentoring can be used in healthcare, book a free demonstration with us today.

This article was guest written by Andrew Deen.

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