Mentor Essay

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The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards to support learning and development in practice state that students on NMC approved pre-registration nursing education programmes, leading to registration on the nurses’ part of the register, must be supported and assessed by mentors. (NMC 2008) They also state that other registered professionals who have been suitably prepared can supervise and contribute towards the assessment of nursing students, this builds on a previous argument by Dix and Hughes (2004) who state that all nurses are involved in facilitating learning as learning is a constant feature of the profession. Whilst I agree with Dix and Hughes (2004) in that I can teach and provide valuable learning experiences to students, I have not in the eyes of the NMC been suitably prepared for the role. This is the starting point for my journey as a mentor and my reason for attending this course in the first place. Mentoring has been defined and redefined in nursing on many occasions with mentors being deemed to be competent role models who possess the characteristics of being inspiring, confident, committed to the development of others, willing to share, the desire to teach, support and guide, and effective interpersonal skills. (Klein &, Dickenson-Hazard 2000 and Darwin 2000 p 29-41) The English National Board (ENB, 2001) stated the term mentor describes the role of the nurse who facilitates learning and supervises and assesses students in the practice setting. With the advent of the NMC Standards to Support Learning and Assessment in Practice(section 2.1)(2008) a mentor is now “a registrant who, following successful completion of an NMC approved mentor preparation programme – or comparable preparation that has been accredited by an AEI as meeting the NMC mentor requirements – has achieved the

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