Development and testing of an evidence-based model of mentoring nursing students in clinical practice

K. Mikkonen*, M. Tomietto, G. Cicolini, B.M. Kaucic, B. Filej, O. Riklikiene, E. Juskauskiene, F. Vizcaya-Moreno, R.M. Pérez-Cañaveras, P. De Raeve, M. Kääriäinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Mentoring in clinical settings is an important factor in the development of nursing students' professional knowledge and competences, but more knowledge of mentors' current and required competences is needed to improve nursing students' clinical learning.
This study aimed to develop and test an evidence-based model of mentoring nursing students in clinical practice.
An international cross-sectional survey coordinated in five European countries: Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia and Spain.
Mentors, 4980 registered nurses working in both primary and specialist healthcare organizations, were invited to participate in the study during 2016–2019. The final sample consisted of 1360 mentors (mean age 41.9 ± 11). Data were collected with background questions and the Mentor Competence Instrument. The instrument was psychometrically validated then the data were used to construct a Structural Equation Model (SEM) with Full Imputation Maximum Likelihood (FIML) estimation.
All of six hypotheses were verified. In summary: mentors' characteristics related to their motivation and reflection are positively related to mentoring practices in the workplace, which (together with constructive feedback) are positively related to and foster goal-orientation in students' clinical learning and student-centered evaluation. All parameters in the SEM model were significant and the model's fit indexes were verified (RMSEA = 0.055; SRMR = 0.083; CFI = 0.914, TLI = 0.909).
Our evidence-based modeling confirms the research hypotheses about mentorship, and identifies focal competences for designing mentors' education to improve students' clinical learning and establish a common European mentoring model. Mentorship is important for both healthcare organizations and educational systems to enhance students' clinical competences, professional growth and commitment to the nursing profession and organizational environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104272
Number of pages9
JournalNurse Education Today
Early online date21 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


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