Mentoring facilitates positive self-efficacy. Individuals with high self-efficacy emulate professional resiliency and possess a strong sense of optimism in their ability to adapt, overcome, and persevere in the professional arena.
The purpose of this study was to identify characteristics that encourage mentoring relationships between neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) students and preceptors, as well as student perceptions of mentoring relationships.
A 29-item survey composed of demographic items, the Freeman Mentoring Survey, the Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Confidence Scale, along with qualitative questions, was disseminated to NNP students enrolled in their final clinical practicum course from August to October 2014.
Students who sought out their own preceptor “by choice” reported higher self-efficacy scores (P = .046) and mentoring scores (P = .047). Students who perceived their preceptor as a mentor (91%) expressed readiness to assume the role of advanced practice registered nursing after graduation. An average of 37.2 hours is required for a student to adapt to a clinical site and preceptor.
Implications for Practice:
Mentorships between preceptors and NNP students, grounded in the provisions of trust, stability, encouragement, and hope, facilitate positive self-efficacy for the student learner. All NNPs must commit to the integration of mentoring programs in the clinical setting as well as seek out teaching-coaching opportunities with NNP students to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to the NNP workforce.
Implications for Research:
Further investigation of the impacts of mentoring relationships upon job satisfaction, recruitment and retention, the teaching-coaching role, and scholarship activities of actively practicing NNPs is indicated.