Registered Nurses` competence in mentoring and the effect of mentoring education on competence

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Topic of the dissertation

Registered Nurses` competence in mentoring and the effect of mentoring education on competence

Doctoral candidate

Master of Health Science Anna-Maria Tuomikoski

Faculty and unit

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

Subject of study

Nursing Science


Professor Hannele Turunen, University of Eastern Finland


Professor Maria Kääriäinen , University of Oulu

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Need for development in nurses’ competence in mentoring

Nearly half of nursing education is completed as clinical placements in healthcare organizations under the supervision of nurses who provide patient care. Therefore, nurses play an important role in the development of students’ competence and professionalism. In Finland, it is possible to mentor students without mentoring education, unlike in England where at least one year of work experience and mentoring education are compulsory. High quality mentoring of students can influence the graduation rate of competent new nurses and their retention in nursing.

This doctoral dissertation examined what kind of competence nurses need in the mentoring of students conducting clinical placements in university hospitals. In addition, the effect of mentoring education on nurses’ competence was examined. Data were collected from nurses responsible for mentoring students at five university hospitals.

The results indicate that nurses, in general, evaluated their competence in mentoring at a satisfactory or good level. Nurses’ motivation in mentoring students was rated as satisfactory. Nurses were not sufficiently familiar with mentoring practices. Also, the need for development in the support of students’ learning process and in goal-oriented mentoring arose. Student-centered assessment received the poorest evaluation amongst nurses. Nurses were competent in identifying the mentoring needs of the student, in engaging in reciprocal discussion with students, and in providing students with constructive feedback. Participation in mentoring education improved nurses’ competence in mentoring.

This study produces new evidence for the development of basic and continuing education. The results can be used to facilitate identification and development of nurses’ competence in mentoring and in the development of mentoring education. Through the development of nurses’ competence in mentoring, students are able to receive better mentoring and their nursing competence develops, leading to improvement in patient safety and patient care. The results can also increase awareness of competence in student mentoring amongst nursing leaders, professionals, and educators.
Last updated: 1.3.2023