Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 28(2) June 2015 : 51-63.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2015.24354
Nursing Research

Mentoring from Afar: Nurse Mentor Challenges in the Canadian Armed Forces

Laura D.M. Neal

Abstract

There is an integral connection between leadership, mentoring and professional career progression within the nursing profession. The purpose of this article is to examine recommendations and best practices from the literature and provide a basis to construct a formalized successful mentoring dyad program with guidelines on establishing and maintaining a productive mentoring relationship over long distance. Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) nurses practice within a unique domain both domestically and abroad. The military environment incorporates many aspects of mentoring that could benefit significantly by distance interchange. Supported through examining literature within nursing, CAF publications and other professions along with contrasting successful distance mentoring programs, the findings suggest that a top-down, leadership-driven formal mentoring program could be beneficial to CAF nurses. The literature review outlines definitions of terms for mentorship and distance mentoring or e-mentoring. A cross section of technology is now embedded in all work environments with personal communication devices commonplace. Establishing mentoring relationships from afar is practical and feasible. This article provides a guided discussion for nursing leaders, managers and grassroots nurses to implement mentoring programs over distances. The recommendations and findings of this article could have universal applications to isolated nursing environments outside of Canadian military operational frameworks.

 

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