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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 937906, 9 pages
Review Article

Best Practices in Academic Mentoring: A Model for Excellence

1School of Nursing, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA
2Department of Nursing, Saniku Gakuin College, Otaki-machi, Chiba-ken 298-0297, Japan
3School of Nursing, BryanLGH College of Health Sciences, 5035 Everett Street, Lincoln, NE 68506, USA
4Department of Nursing and Health Professions, State University of New York Institute of Technology, 100 Seymour Road, Utica, NY 13502, USA
5College of Nursing, University of Cincinnati, 3110 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0038, USA
6School of Nursing, Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden, NY 11874, USA
7Department of Nursing, Shepherd University, P.O. Box 5000, 301 North King Street, Shepherdstown, WV 25443-5000, USA
8School of Nursing, Minnesota State University Mankato, 360 Wissink Hall, Mankato, MN 56001, USA
9School of Nursing, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 800 West4th Street, Odessa, TX79763, USA
10School of Nursing, Oregon Health & Science University, 3455 SW Veterans' Hospital Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA
11School of Nursing, Indiana University, 1033 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
12School of Nursing, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306, USA

Received 15 December 2011; Accepted 8 February 2012

Academic Editor: Olive Yonge

Copyright © 2012 Jan M. Nick et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mentoring is important for the recruitment and retention of qualified nurse faculty, their ongoing career development, and leadership development. However, what are current best practices of mentoring? The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of a model for excellence in establishing a formal mentoring program for academic nurse educators. Six themes for establishing a formal mentoring program are presented, highlighting best practices in mentoring as culled from experience and the literature. Themes reflect aims to achieve appropriately matched dyads, establish clear mentorship purpose and goals, solidify the dyad relationship, advocate for and guide the protégé, integrate the protégé into the academic culture, and mobilize institutional resources for mentoring support. Attending to the six themes will help mentors achieve important protégé outcomes, such as orientation to the educator role, integration into the academic community, development of teaching, scholarship, and service skills, as well as leadership development. The model is intended to be generalizable for faculty teaching in a variety of academic nursing institution types and sizes. Mentoring that integrates the six themes assists faculty members to better navigate the academic environment and more easily transition to new roles and responsibilities.