Mentoring and Coaching in Nursing: Lobbying Funds

Lobbying Government for Funds to Support Nursing Issue

The direct activities for health care improvement compose one of the key nursing profession essentials. Lobbying implies that a nurse is to speak out against or in support of a specific proposed or introduced legislation (Franck, 1997). To make a health care need vivid, it is possible to write to the legislators to ask for funding. The need for designing and implementing mentoring and coaching programs for novice nurses is the target health concern that is to be lobbied (Sharp, 1993). More to the point, there is a lack of regulations that manage the performance of novice leaders and educators, who experience high levels of turnover. The following paragraphs present a formal letter to the legislators, including the problem, its explanation, and proposed legislation.

I am an advanced practice registered nurse, and I am writing to request your support for bill that will help to prepare new nurse executives via mentoring and coaching. The new legislation should provide the basis for funding these initiatives that are vital for the future of nursing. The purpose of mentoring and coaching is to prepare nurse executives by offering them appropriate guidance, personal expertise, and the opportunity to learn in clinical settings. The recent articles report that the synergy of coaching and mentoring promotes positive results, allowing preparing qualified novice nurse experts (Jeffers & Mariani, 2017; Thompson et al., 2012).

With the rapidly aging nurse workforce, it is important to translate the skills and knowledge of current specialists and transmit them to novices. To launch a new program for supporting coaching and mentoring efforts, more staff should be attracted, and the specific needs of undergraduates should be taken into account. Currently, there is a lack of additional funding to improve the adaptation and effective performance of the latter. The new legislation should consider providing funding to the organizations that introduce coaching in mentoring in practice. In this connection, I ask you to support the proposed bill that will enhance nursing care delivery quality in a long-term period.

Justification of the Nursing Topic Choice

In recent decades, the system of health care changed dramatically, and there is a tendency towards further adjustments. The technologic advancements and financial struggles along with the changing patient needs are the main factors that cause modifications. Thompson, Wolf, and Sabatine (2012) emphasize that the development of leadership skills is one of the five areas of nursing that prepares nurses for critical roles. With the growing need to have qualified nurse executives (NEs), it is essential to provide mentorship and coaching to potential candidates. In order to avoid default NEs or those who receive that position in a non-liners manner, succession plans should be promoted. Currently, 79% of the nurses that hold a leader role lack succession plans, which are complicated by high turnover rates (60%) among them (Thompson et al., 2012). Among the main reasons for the latter, it is possible to note stress, the transition to new roles, and conflicts in the team. The rapidly aging bulk of nurse leaders, whose average age is 56 years, is another alarming factor.

In the view of the mentioned issues, it becomes evident that there is an urgent need to educate new nurses and help them to effectively take leading roles. The novice nurses are the future of the entire nursing profession, who should obtain the experience of the current specialists to provide systematic and comprehensive care. Not only formal education but also practical guidance is critical to ensure that new nurses are able to see a full picture and the links between the components of the health care system. In this connection, the differences between coaching and mentoring should be determined to better understand their impact on nurse preparation.

The progress through the nursing career requires help from more experienced colleagues, which also points to the importance of the identified theme. According to Williams (2009), both mentoring and coaching imply the assistance of a person to support one’s career through the individual guidance. In both cases, the trained or coached person is responsible for her or his decisions that are taken in clinical settings. Mentoring is a long-term process with a focus on informal relationships between a mentee and mentor, which implies some extent of trust and friendship (Williams, 2009). In turn, coaching is related to a more structural assistance to develop a mentee’s skills, decision-making abilities, communication, work-life balance, et cetera. Mentoring and coaching serve as the useful instruments that can empower nurses, change their beliefs, and broaden their career goals.

Current Relevance of Material

The development of nurse executives is a paramount goal for the successful future of nursing, which can be achieved through mentoring and coaching. In particular, Thompson et al. (2012) view mentoring as the instrument that can clearly show the novice nurses who intend to become leaders the practical steps to be taken. The role of mentors is typically held by seasoned professionals, who have valuable stories and case studies, which can guide graduates. A mentor can act as both a person who identifies and supports a mentee’s professional course and the one who serves as a role model. For example, the more experienced mentor can suggest the relevant project and workshops to participate in, which is the opportunity for NEs to advance their career ladder (Jeffers & Mariani, 2017). The pivotal impact of mentoring is its promotion of collaborative learning relationships, when both sides are ready to share information and conduct discussion. The cooperation in a multidisciplinary team is declared by the healthcare as one of the goals since it strengthens the team spirit and improves care delivery effectiveness.

The power of executive coaching is associated with receiving a professional who can inspire a mentee through partnership, resulting in the maximization of his or her creative, personal, and career potential. On the contrary to mentors, coaches do not provide advice or share their experiences, but they focus on nurses’ personal goals. By assisting in clarifying career goals and objectives, coaches design an individual approach to meeting these specific outcomes (Jeffers & Mariani, 2017). The areas for development as well as the strengths to improve on can be determined in the course of coaching. Another role of coaching lies in resolving challenging situations that may occur in practice as novice executives often tend to be confused by the evoking changes. The ability to reach immediately and chose the best solution possible is trained during the work with a coach. In this connection, the coaching relationships are of great importance for the future of nursing that should have high-quality care delivery, as well as satisfied patients and care providers.

The combination of coaching and mentoring, when a NE has the opportunity to engage in both relationships, is an excellent option to revolutionize the nursing of the future generation. It is especially important to ensure that a coach, mentor, and NE develop in the same direction, thus establishing the link between theory and practice. Inside an organization, the synergy of coaching and mentoring leads to a consistent approach to care, helps the novice nurses to adapt to the environment, and facilitates overcoming organization-related struggles. However, it can be difficult to find a sufficient number of mentors and coaches, which one of the ley problems. Outside the organization, the identified combination offers objective advice, innovative ideas, and a path to the success at the executive level. The failure to understand a specific cultural or social environment is the disadvantage that should be prevented by increasing self-awareness of novices. Thus, mentors and coaches working with a NE present a valuable opportunity to reinforce their skills and knowledge, which cannot be underestimated in the context of the growing need to have qualified professionals in the future.

Integration of the Nursing Issue into Clinical Practices

In clinical practices, novice nurses often have either a coach or mentor, who is expected to promote their career prospects. Among the variety of practical goals, leadership development and achieving career aspirations are the most significant ones. To progress the careers of novice leaders, the organizations try to design special programs and offer them across the departments. There is a set of roles that mentors can serve to mentees, including help with navigating the organization, role modeling, networking opportunities, and so on (Williams, 2009). In turn, coaches held the positons of career developers, planning, brainstorming strategists, and evaluators. The modern nursing environment allows synthesizing coaching and mentoring that are to support a balanced development of novice nurse leaders.

The evidence presents positive results of integrating coaching and mentoring in practice. A longitudinal in-depth study by Fielden, Davidson, and Sutherland (2009) used two cohorts of nurses who were involved in two groups, while one of them was assigned a mentor, and the other one – a coach. Both cohorts demonstrated essential management and leadership development and perceived awareness of performance effectiveness. The reported levels of self-confidence also increased in both groups. However, it should be stressed that the mentees’ indicators for professional network contacts and leadership skills were more significant. As for the organizational impact, “47% (n = 7) of coachees and 87% (n = 13) of mentees reported that their participation in the programme had had a direct impact on patient care” (Fielden et al., 2009, p. 96). In other words, the desire of mentees to implement their new skills and knowledge was more evident compared to coaches. Nevertheless, both groups reported that they received career support and assets with regard to their organization’s units, plans, staff, and patient needs.

The transition from a clinician to a faculty is another that is discussed in terms of the mentoring and coaching perspective. Jeffers and Mariani (2017) emphasize that the existing faculty shortage among novice nurses is a challenge that needs a proper response. The authors conducted the study based on the electronic survey with open-ended questions and found that mentoring efforts correlated with a greater desire to stay in academia and the subsequent career satisfaction compared to those novice leaders who did no collaborate with mentors. The participants also reported that the transition from the role of care delivery to the academic setting was complicated, which was caused by communication and resource difficulties (Jeffers & Mariani, 2017). A lack of mentoring was associated with incivility and bullying, which led to the dissatisfaction with the nurse faculty role.

Speaking more precisely of the way mentoring and coaching are integrated into clinical practices, one should state that structured programs are the prevailing strategy. Although there are some differences between these forms of guidance that were discussed earlier in this paper, it seems that organizations lack the understanding of their usage. Some of the studies explore mentoring and coaching separately or in comparison, while others promote their synergy. In this connection, future research is required to examine this issue and identify the most beneficial strategy (Jeffers & Mariani, 2017). It goes without saying that many internal and external factors affect the implementation of coaching and mentoring, yet some generalizable theories and recommendations should be designed. More to the point, the most powerful elements of mentoring and coaching should be established, which will be critical for tracking the links between the performance of coaches and mentors and individual development of novice experts.

Use of the Information on the Nursing Issue in the Clinical Setting

In spite of the significant efforts to improve health care delivery quality and increase health workforce competence, there is a challenge in bridging quality clinical practices and knowledge. The Future of Nursing Campaign for Action (CFA) that was elaborated by the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) provides the recommendations for the future generation nurses (Posluszny, 2014). The first step is to introduce the Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health report to undergraduate nurses and, after that, begin mentoring relationships. In particular, Posluszny (2014) claims that nurses can take the role of mentors with regard to undergraduates, which is expected to improve novices’ skills and form their professional identities. The need for empowering the latter is assigned a top priority as well as the idea of familiarizing the undergraduates with the IOM’s report. By following these priorities, the information from the report should be used to inspire the future nurse leaders and improve their awareness of the nursing profession.

Another perspective is discussed by Thompson et al. (2012), who examine the high turnover rates among young nurse leaders. The authors mention that nurse executive face significant challenges in their positions, which lowers care delivery quality and undermines trustful relationships in a team. To address this problem, information on mentoring and coaching is used to design a model for success. In other words, the perceived advantages of the mentioned training modes are considered as the theoretical framework for the model. The latter includes three phases, such as individual, environmental, and experiential, which aim to help the graduates to understand their career goals and organizational culture (Thompson et al., 2012). The outcome of this model implies executive success that is to be expressed in three dimensions: a person, support, and ability. In other words, the data about mentoring and coaching is used to create practical models to guide the actions of nurse executives and their coaches and mentors. Thus, the relationships with the latter should be an integral part of the organizations that focus on their future: high-quality care and innovative approaches to leadership development.

References

Fielden, S., Davidson, M., & Sutherland, V. (2009). Innovations in coaching and mentoring: Implications for nurse leadership development. Health Services Management Research, 22(2), 92-99. Web.

Franck, C. (1997). Every nurse is a lobbyist. The Michigan Nurse, 70(3), 3.

Jeffers, S., & Mariani, B. (2017). The effect of a formal mentoring program on career satisfaction and intent to stay in the faculty role for novice nurse faculty. Nursing Education Perspectives, 38(1), 18-22. Web.

Posluszny, L. (2014). Shaping undergraduate professional identities through mentoring and promoting the future of nursing. Aorn Journal, 100(6), 566-569. Web.

Sharp, N. (1993). The path of legislation: Best opportunities for nurses’ input. Nursing Management, 24(9), 28-35.

Thompson, R., Wolf, D., & Sabatine, J. (2012). Mentoring and coaching: A model guiding professional nurses to executive success. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 42(11), 536-41. Web.

Williams, P. (2009). How coaching differs from mentoring. Nebraska Nurse, 42(4), 9.