Selecting a Mentor
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a reciprocal learning relationship in which mentor and mentee agree to a partnership where they will work collaboratively toward achievement of mutually defined goals that will develop a mentee's skills, abilities, knowledge, and/or thinking.
Download: Overview of NLI Mentor Year
Choosing a Mentor
We recommend you follow these steps when choosing a mentor:
- Establish specific goals. Think about what you want to achieve during the Leadership Development Program and beyond.
- Identify successful professionals. Try to find someone that has achieved what you hope you might achieve and who meets our mentor qualities to consider and mentor eligibility requirements below.
- Approach your proposed mentor. Tell them about the program requirements and the expectations for mentors, and ask them if they are able to commit to mentoring you through this program.
We recommend you select a mentor who is not your immediate supervisor or director, and that you consider the following qualities as you identify potential mentors:
- has experience beyond your own and demonstrates effective leadership skills
- has the knowledge and expertise you need to achieve your goals
- is authentic, empathetic, creative, and honest
- can listen well
- will encourage and support you as well as provide honest constructive feedback
- has sufficient time and interest to mentor you
- is accessible
- has a good network of influencers
- makes commitments and follows through
- has high standards and values—values mistakes for learning
- be employed by a Maryland school of nursing or a Maryland health care service agency/practice
- have demonstrated leadership in their field
- be able to provide a yearlong commitment to applicant.
As you discuss the role with your prospective mentor, share the expectations below.
- guide their mentee through the yearlong Leadership Development Program
- attend Leadership Development Program mentor support sessions
- commit time to mentoring, making it a priority
- build a relationship with their mentee
- establish regular meetings with their mentee, e.g. twice a month, for at least 45 minutes
- be available by phone/email/text (within reason)
- facilitate their mentee’s learning
- actively listen and give feedback without judgment
- work through any issues that arise in the program as well as in the mentor/mentee relationship
- evaluate the process
- learn about themselves.