Mentoring programs can help nurses gain the clinical leadership knowledge and skills they need to transition into advanced practice roles, according to a study published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing.
Researchers from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, set out to determine whether formal mentoring programs can assist nurse practitioner candidates to develop clinical leadership competencies required in their advanced practice roles. For the study, 18 NP candidates and 17 senior nurses participated in a voluntary mentoring program that incorporated coaching and action learning over a period of 18 months in 2012 and 2013.
Participants completed a questionnaire to document baseline measures of self-reported leadership practices before beginning the program and again at the end of the program.
“The mentors and the nurse practitioner candidates qualitatively evaluated the program as successful and quantitative data illustrated significant improvement in self-reported leadership practices among the nurse practitioner candidates,” the authors wrote in the study’s abstract. “In particular, the nurse practitioner candidates reported greater competence in the transformational aspects of leadership, which is directly related to the nurse practitioner candidate clinical leadership standard.”
The study found mentoring can enhance clinical leadership skills for nurses that are important for their success in advanced practice roles.
“Nurse managers should make greater use of mentoring programs to support nurses in their transition to new roles,” the authors wrote.