A mentoring needs assessment: validating mentorship in nursing education

J Prof Nurs. May-Jun 2009;25(3):145-50. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2009.01.003.


A shortage of nursing faculty is imminent. Factors contributing to this looming crisis include the aging professoriate, as well as a host of recruitment and retention issues. Mentoring programs enhance recruitment, promote retention, and create a caring environment that capacitates and enriches the teaching role. The purpose of this research was to complete a mentoring needs assessment of our nursing faculty, with the overall goal of establishing the foundation and validation for a formal mentoring program. We recruited 60% (n = 29) of our full-time faculty to complete the Faculty of Nursing Mentoring Needs Assessment survey/questionnaire. Consistent with previous research, primarily from other disciplines, career function and caring were cited as important roles and responsibilities for mentors. The most significant stressor for novice faculty was "fitting in" to the academic milieu; teaching expertise and caring were important qualities of "good mentors." Barriers to mentoring were related to lack of time and faculty support. The evidence from this study lends support for mentorship in nursing education. A caring mentoring environment is an important and timely strategy to ensure that the integrity of nursing education is sustained in the years to come.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Education, Nursing*
  • Mentors*
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Role