Nursing students beginning clinicals for the first time have the opportunity to partner with a senior in order to relieve stress.
Danielle Walker, TCU nursing lecturer, came up with the idea for her Ph.D. dissertation. Walker has a master’s in nursing education and wanted her project to be a learning experience for the students.
“The students loved the idea, which is what really got me motivated,” Walker said. “Even the older students really embraced it, giving up their only free day of clinicals to support their mentee.”
The students wanting to be in the program had to apply. If accepted, a level two senior and fundamental student were paired together.
Emma Breyer, a senior nursing student, said her first semester of clinicals was completely overwhelming.
“I think being a mentor has allowed me to alleviate some of the fears and anxieties in my mentee. I love seeing her accomplish more every week,” Breyer said.
Breyer’s mentee, sophomore Andrea Bock, said her mentor has been a source of motivation, tips and advice throughout her first couple of weeks of clinicals.
“I am so incredibly thankful for the mentor program,” Bock said. “Adjusting to the work load as well as the clinical setting has been a huge challenge. Thankfully, Emma has been very helpful.”
The program is about forming relationships, peer support and leadership roles. Walker said she wants the students to understand that mentoring and helping other people is very important as a nurse.
Walker said she does not know if they will have room for the program in the future because the nursing curriculum changes frequently.
“Nursing faculty and students involved in the program say the experience is great,” Walker said. “Hopefully we will get to continue the program and make it bigger and better as we move forward.”