The Concerns of Competent Novices during a Mentoring Year.

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Journal Article
Nursing research and practice, 2012, 2012 pp. 812542 - ?
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In an innovative group mentoring approach, four experienced midwives mentored four new graduates during their first year of practice. The new graduates were in practice as case-loading registered midwives having completed a three year Bachelor of Midwifery degree. Detailed data about the new graduates' concerns were collected throughout the year of the mentoring project. A range of practice areas-administrative, working environment, professional culture, clinical issues and the mentor group itself-were prominent issues. New graduates were concerned about their own professional development and about relationships with others particularly relationships within the hospital. Technical questions focussed more on craft knowledge that develops through experience than on clinical skills or knowledge. Identifying these concerns provides a foundation for mentors, preceptors and those designing professional development support programmes for the first year of practice. It may be that new graduate midwives educated in a profession with a narrowly defined scope of practice have a different range of concerns to new graduates who have wider scopes of practice. The use of a group model of mentoring for supporting new graduate midwives proved stimulating for mentors and highly supportive of new graduates.
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