If you have recently graduated with your Licensed Practical Nurse degree and are excited to get to work, one of the first things you should do is find a mentor. Being in a mentorship program is beneficial for new nurses. So you might be asking, how do you find a mentor? Our experts at Cynamed offer these 5 tips for LPNs to consider.
1. Ask the Nurses You Know
If you were in an internship at a local hospital or facility, consider the nurses you worked with. Was there a nurse that you thought was well-trained, compassionate, and efficient? Did that nurse get along with the staff and patients? Ask her if she will be your mentor. Be sure this is someone that you respect so you will be receptive to constructive criticism from him or her. A plan can be designed with steps, tasks, and goals, like some of these: Nursing Mentoring templates. But mentoring can be beneficial without being official. Having someone with more experience and training to talk to when you have questions can be a huge help. It will also help with your stress level in the beginning.
2. Talk to the Instructors at Your College
Many colleges, universities, and technical schools have mentoring programs in place. If the school you graduated from does not have one, they should be able to put you in touch with a school that does. Some smaller schools that do not have enough graduates to establish a mentoring program work with larger schools to provide the program.
3. Participate in a Formal Mentoring Program
Contact your local RN or LPN associations. Let them know that you would like to find a mentor who can help you learn the ropes. Many nurses are thrilled to share their training and experiences. If there is nothing available for nurses, look into local business groups. Business Network International is an international company with local meetings. They may not have a mentoring program specifically for nurses, but a business mentor can also be beneficial.
4. Join an Online Program
There are numerous nursing organizations with mentoring programs for Licensed Practical Nurses. Johnson & Johnson has one such program. It can be very beneficial to have an RN or LPN mentor who will share their knowledge and experience with you.
5. Talk to the Nurses Working Around You
If you have found a position with an organization that does not have a mentoring program, ask the nurses around you. They may be members of a group that incorporates mentoring. It might be a monthly meeting where everyone talks about their month before and gets and gives advice. If there is no group, go back to #1. Find an RN or LPN you respect and ask will they be your mentor.
The following are the traits you want your mentor to possess:
- A Positive Attitude: A cheerleader, and counselor, not a co-dependent.
- A Patient Outlook: Can work through disagreements and slow change.
- 360 Perception: Looks at situations from more than one angle.
- Precise Communications: Can express agreement, guidance, and opinions.
- Shows Persistence: One who also commits to the mentoring relationship.
Seeking out a mentor shows you have initiative and drive. The things you can learn from a happy, well-seasoned nurse are immeasurable. They can range from the best nursing shoes to the most intricately detailed procedure. The relationship provides you with invaluable advice and suggestions on patient care. You can also get help with co-worker relations and advice on dealing with physicians. Do the best you can in selecting your mentor, and it may be a lifelong relationship. Then remember to Pay It Forward and volunteer to mentor new nurses once you have some years of experience.
Visit us at Cynamed LPN, for more information and LPN job listings.