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Mentoring and Self-Efficacy: Implications for the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Workforce

Jnah, Amy J. APRN, DNP, NNP-BC; Robinson, Cheryl Broadus APRN, DNS, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): Dowling, Donna

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000227
Original Research

Background: 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.

Purpose: 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.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina (Dr Jnah); and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham (Dr Robinson).

Correspondence: Amy J. Jnah, APRN, DNP, NNP-BC, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Program, East Carolina University, 600 Moye Blvd, Greenville, NC 27858 (

There are no conflicts of interest.

© 2015 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses