Effects of an educational intervention on mentors’ competence in mentoring culturally and linguistically diverse nursing students during clinical placement

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Leena Palotie auditorium (101A) of the Faculty of Medicine (Aapistie 5 A)

Topic of the dissertation

Effects of an educational intervention on mentors’ competence in mentoring culturally and linguistically diverse nursing students during clinical placement

Doctoral candidate

Master’s Degree in Health Science Ashlee Oikarainen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing Science and Health Management

Subject of study

Nursing Science


Professor Hannele Turunen , University of Eastern Finland


Professor Kristina Mikkonen, University of Oulu

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Nurses’ competence in mentoring culturally diverse students and the impact of education on competence development

Time, resources and new strategies needed to support mentoring of nursing students from culturally diverse backgrounds

Finland suffers from a chronic shortage of nurses, which has led to increased efforts to recruit nurses and students from abroad. Multiple Finnish universities of applied sciences provide nursing programmes that are designed to meet the specific needs of immigrant students.
Research shows that culturally diverse nursing students face difficulties especially in real-life environments during clinical placements. Nurses responsible for mentoring students have reported feeling unprepared and unsupported in their role in mentoring.
In her dissertation, MHSc Ashlee Oikarainen set out to find out the level of cultural competence in mentoring of nurses working in Finnish university hospitals. Research results showed that nurses rated their overall mentoring competence as good, but found mentoring situations challenging when language barriers exist.
In the dissertation, mentoring education containing a cultural competence component was designed. The aim was to develop nurses’ competence in mentoring culturally diverse students. Nurses from one university hospital in Finland participated in the newly developed mentoring education. The control group consisted of nurses from another university hospital who participated in traditional online mentoring education that did not cover topics on cultural competence.
Completion of the newly developed mentoring education was beneficial and was proven to improve nurses’ mentoring competence and cultural competence. However, maintenance of competence over time was a challenge. According to the study, new strategies and practices are needed to maintain nurses’ cultural competence and motivation towards mentoring.
According to the dissertation, adequate preparation of nurses in their role in mentoring culturally diverse students can enhance the realisation of effective, culturally safe clinical learning environments. “It should be a priority to ensure that clinical learning environments are culturally safe for students, patients and clinical staff. Nurses need to be given adequate time, support and resources in order for them to succeed in their role of supporting nursing students during clinical placements”, the doctoral candidate emphasises.
Last updated: 23.1.2024