Focusing On Young Nurses Initiative conducted a research study to understand the mentorship needs and experiences of young Nigeria nurses.
This mixed-methods study will help institutions to understand how best to plan interventions that will address the mentorship needs of young nurses.
The mixed-method study involved a survey of 260 nurses and an interview of 28 nurses across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The study was aimed at assessing the mentorship needs of young nurses. The average age of the respondents was 27.8 years. This was in line with our definition of a young nurse as a nurse under 30 years (Clendon et al., 2012).
Findings from the study revealed the challenges experienced by early-career nurses. Similarly, the study revealed the poor state of mentorship in the nursing profession in Nigeria and highlighted the perception of young nurses on the state of mentorship in Nigerian nursing alongside their expectations in a mentor-mentee relationship.
Mentorship is crucial for young nurses’ professional and academic advancement. Evidence suggests that mentorship has led to the expansion of professional networks, provided career development opportunities, and improved the self-confidence of young nurses. Although mentorship is not new to nursing, little is known about the state of mentorship in Nigerian nursing. While we are interested in developing a mentorship program for young nurses in Nigeria, we currently lack evidence to guide this development. The objective of the study was to explore the career experiences, challenges and mentorship needs of young nurses and to assess their perception of and level of involvement in mentorship. A mixed-method study was conducted using the convergent parallel design. A cross-sectional survey and a descriptive in-depth interview were conducted. Quantitative data collected via online survey were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and qualitative data were analyzed using thematic analysis. Young nurses totalling twenty-eight, were interviewed, while 260 others participated in the survey. Majority of the respondents (92.3%) agreed that mentorship is in scarce supply in Nigeria. Overall, 78.8% had high mentorship needs, and 80% were not part of any structured mentorship program. The challenges experienced included inadequate career guidance, poor psychological support, an unsupportive academic environment, poor clinical mentorship, conflict between older and younger nurses, and poor clinical mentorship. Mentorship needs included career, leadership and administration, research and scholarship, professional, practitioner, political and psychological issues. The participants were willing to be part of a structured mentorship program. Although young nurses were encumbered with varying challenges, these challenges are not insurmountable. We hereby recommend the development of a structured, need-specific mentorship program to meet the mentorship needs of this population.
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