Mentors, Teachers, and Experts among Us

Article excerpt

Every time I speak with a group of students, I am struck by their interest in role models among their faculty.

They want to be successful as students and as professional nurses. They want to be leaders among their colleagues as much as they want to be expert professional nurses.

As faculty, our challenge is to help our students learn the characteristics of leaders and experts at the same time.

I ALWAYS HAVE CONSIDERED MYSELF FORTUNATE because of the way in which my career has developed. Sometimes I attribute this "luck" to the way the stars shine. Most, often, however, I think my career development has more to do with the sage advice I have received, from my very first academic nursing experience through the present.

I have always wanted to veer along a different path, rather than one that was traditional and expected. Most of my experiences with mentors, especially those that I recall most vividly, have to do with advice I have been given to not do something that I wanted to do with regard to my career. And yet, this very same advice has caused me to think through my choices very carefully, to reflect on the consequences of one chosen path over another. I have never regretted any of the advice I have been given, nor have I regretted any of the career choices I have made. I truly credit my teachers and mentors for my leadership success.

Now more than ever we need to develop the leaders among our students, to support them in their career development, and to mentor them as they move into challenging new nursing roles. Every time I speak with a group of students, I am struck by their interest in role models among their faculty. …