The role of motivation in the initiation and maintening mentoring relationships among nurses and midwives

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Abstract

Aim: To understand clinicians’ motivations to engage in mentoring to support newly graduated nurses and midwives working in hospital settings. 

Background: Nursing and midwifery literature has established the benefits of mentoring and challenges that affect the effectiveness of formal mentoring programmes. No studies have explored hospital nurses’ and midwives’ motivations to mentor in the absence of the obligatory status and associated rewards of institutionalised mentoring. 

Methods: A qualitative descriptive study with 35 nurses and midwives working in three public hospitals in the western, northern and northwestern parts of Uganda. Data were collected using semistructured interviews. Reflexive thematic analysis was applied to interpret the data. We have adhered to COREQ reporting guidelines. 

Results: The study revealed three salient themes that capture nursing and midwifery professionals' mentoring perspectives. Participants expressed confidence in their inherent mentoring capacities and were often motivated by a desire to reciprocate prior mentoring experiences. Their mentoring approaches varied between self-focused and other-focused motivations, with some overlap in perspectives on hierarchical versus relational mentoring. Across the board, there was a strong consensus on the need of mentoring for individual clinicians, healthcare institutions and the broader profession. The study highlights five opportunities that can be harnessed to design future mentoring programmes. 

Conclusions: The findings delineate a complex interplay between self-centred and altruistic mentoring motivations, aligning with hierarchical or mutually beneficial mentoring paradigms. 

Implications for nursing policy: Nurse managers should tailor mentoring programmes to align with these intrinsic motivations, affirm the enduring need for mentoring, and leverage existing institutional resources to create both acceptable and efficient mentoring frameworks.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Nursing Review
Early online date29 Apr 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • Hospital nurses and midwives
  • mentoring beliefs
  • mentoring need
  • mentoring opportunities

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