Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the experiences of mentees and mentors in a structured mentorship program.
Design: A qualitative study using focus group methodology in a nonrandom purposive sample was used.
Setting: The study was conducted at a level 1 university-affiliated hospital within a 9-bed cardiothoracic intensive care unit.
Sample: Mentors were identified as Clinical Nurse III's within the institution's clinical ladder. Mentees were identified as Clinical Nurse I's who had no previous critical care nursing experience. To meet inclusion criteria, mentors and mentees had to be paired for at least 10 months before the study. All mentors participated in the study (n = 6) and all but 1 mentee participated (n = 5).
Findings: Results of this study revealed the following shared perceptions from the mentees and mentors: (1) availability, (2) sense of community, and (3) support and knowledge.
Conclusions: This study suggests that mentees and mentors undergo similar experiences and perceptions in a mentorship program despite different roles.
Implications: Mentorship programs create a unique environment that facilitates the educational opportunities for both the novice and expert clinician.