As a nursing school student, you would do well to find yourself a nurse mentor. If you haven’t already, you should strongly consider going to a local facility and asking to shadow a nurse for a shift.
You can call their education department or even human resources to see about shadowing someone that’s actually working in your chosen field. This will provide you with hands on, up close and personal view on what it is like to actually be a nurse.
After you shadow, though, you may want someone to talk to as you fight the rigors of nursing school. Although family is great to listen to your complaints, they don’t really know what you are up against.
This is where a nurse mentor comes in handy. A nurse mentor is someone with a license that is willing to be a resource for you, from educational to stress related questions regarding nursing.
Ideally, this will be a relationship that last for a long time, but you may wonder where you can find nurses who are willing to become mentors. After all, nurses are usually quite busy and not really looking to take on more responsibilities.
One place to find a nurse mentor would be from your shadow experience. If you really hit it off with your nurse, you could exchange emails and talk to him or her for helpful advice.
Clinicals are another great place to find nurse mentors. You are surrounded by nurses when you are on the floor, and some are friendlier than others.
If you are bold, you could ask one of them to be your mentor and exchange emails. You don’t even have to call it a mentorship, but you could spin it as just someone to bounce ideas off from time to time.
In a pinch, you can find nurse mentors on the internet. Many sites, such as Mighty Nurse, are online hangouts for nurses, and many of them enjoy helping those in school or new to the nursing world.
You shouldn’t just take anyone for a nurse mentor, either. First, they should be working in the field you are interested in.
It may be harder to find someone who meets your needs, but there is nothing saying that you can’t have several mentors. In fact, your mentor should be actively working or has worked within the past few years for best results.
Compassion, understanding, and a willingness to listen are other characteristics you should seek out in a nurse mentor. Someone who has been there, done that can help you navigate muddy waters.
The benefits of going through this process are too many to innumerate here. Suffice to say, you will have someone on your side who understands precisely what you are going through.
When you hit all the milestones in nursing – graduating, clinicals, boards – you will have someone by your side to guide you. Experience is valuable in nursing school and in the field, and a mentor can transfer some of that knowledge to you.