Novice clinical nurse educator’s experience of a self-directed learning, education and mentoring program: A qualitative study

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Contemporary Nurse, 2018, 54 (2), pp. 208 - 219
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Background: Transition from a registered nurse to a clinical nurse educator (CNE) poses several challenges. Providing professional development opportunities to ease the transition from a registered nurse to a CNE is considered critical to a successful career and to effectively teach. A self-directed educational program and mentoring (SEM) program was designed and implemented to support nurse’s transition from a novice to a confident CNE. Aims: The aim of this studywas to explore noviceCNE’s experience of learning and beingmentored. Design: Qualitative methodology was undertaken to conduct focus groups. Methods: All CNEs who completed the SEM program were invited to participate in the study. Willing participants provided informed consent to complete an in-depth semi-structured focus group and to record the focus group interview. Focus groups were facilitated by an independent researcher. A second researcher attended the focus groups to collect detailed notes. Data were transcribed verbatim and participants were de-identified. Simple thematic analyses were undertaken. Results: A total of 11 (58%) CNEs participated in the focus groups. Overall participants described their experience of the SEM program as positive. Three themes were identified: (1) perceived transformation of CNE practice, (2) beneficial relationships and (3) feeling connected. Mentoring relationships for some participants have continued beyond the self-directed learning, education and mentoring program. Barriers to the mentoring program included a theme of lack of time, role ambiguity and insufficient face to face education. Conclusions: Study findings highlight the benefits of providing professional development opportunities and mentoring programs for novice CNEs. Programs, such as the SEM enable transformation of a novice educator’s practice, and the consolidation of new knowledge, skills and confidence to effectively educate less experienced nurses.
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