Mentoring as it Relates to Persistence in Associate Degree Nursing Students
Peltz, Caroline M.
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Saturday, July 25, 2015: Students who are preparing to become registered nurses are more likely to attend community colleges due to the unequal distribution of financial resources to educational systems that have evolved from the impact of globalization. The purpose of this descriptive cross-sectional study was to increase the understanding of mentoring as it relates to the perceived ability to persist among nontraditional students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs at community colleges. This investigation presented a discussion of how student involvement in a mentoring relationship and the domains of mentoring differed by associate degree nursing student characteristics. Additionally, the domains of mentoring and student involvement in a mentoring relationship were explored with the associate degree nursing students' perceived ability to persist. Study participants were administered an online survey. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed using SPSS Version 21 statistical software. The data analysis contributed new data regarding student involvement in a mentoring relationship, the supports of mentoring, and the perceived ability to persist for the sample group. First, student characteristics are significant in describing student involvement in a mentoring relationship in terms of the number of times a student met with a mentor. Males met with a mentor more frequently per grading period than females. Part-time students and students who were successful in nursing courses met more frequently with a mentor than full-time students and those who failed a nursing course. Second, relationships were found for the student characteristics of gender and the domains of mentoring. Differences were found between males and females on the measures for psychological/emotional support and academic support. Last, a significant relationship between psychological/emotional support and the existence of a role model and the perceived ability to persist was found. Most often, the person whom the study participants identified as their mentor was a family member. This research study has contributed to advancing the mentoring research in nursing education by narrowing the gap that existed in the literature for nontraditional associate degree students enrolled in community colleges. The 283 associate degree nursing students who participated were enrolled in associate degree nursing programs throughout the state of Michigan. The results of this study may be generalized to other groups of nontraditional students enrolled in associated degree program at community colleges in the United States because the percentages for the student characteristics of race/ethnicity, gender and age for this sample were similar to the percentages for the same student characteristics that were compiled by the National League for Nursing (2012). Researchers in nursing education have the opportunity to build a consistent definition of mentoring and a conceptual framework for traditional and nontraditional students enrolled in two- and four-year institutions through the continued exploration of mentoring and how mentoring relates to the perceived ability to persist. The more evidence-based strategies used to enhance nursing education, the better the outcome will be to improve the preparation nurses receive to serve the public. Mentoring may be a key strategy to achieve that end, and this research has contributed to the evidence base to support mentoring of nursing students.