Student nurses as peer-mentors: collegiality in practice

Nurse Educ Pract. 2007 Jan;7(1):36-43. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2006.04.004. Epub 2006 Jun 5.


Mentoring is promoted as a key strategy for supporting nursing students and new practitioners in clinical settings. However, mentoring is also a complex process, requiring the development of bounded and purposeful relationships underpinned by knowledge, experience and opportunities for reflection. This paper reports the findings of an evaluation by second-year nursing student mentors and first-year mentee students of a short peer-mentoring programme. The main objective of the programme was to support students making the transition to the university and nursing. At a more focused professional level, the programme also provided the opportunity for students to be a mentor or to be mentored, as a learning precursor to being mentored in the clinical setting. The programme provided rich learning opportunities for the development of the qualities and skills required for mentoring roles and was a vehicle for encouraging collegial interaction and learning. The students' evaluation of the programme also demonstrated that formal mentoring programmes require considerable organisational investment and ongoing commitment in educational and clinical settings. Mentors and mentees require time for face-to-face meetings and discussion, effective and on-going communication channels, and adequate role preparation.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence
  • Competency-Based Education
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / methods
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentors / education
  • Mentors / psychology*
  • Mentors / statistics & numerical data
  • New Zealand
  • Peer Group
  • Preceptorship / trends*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data