Nurse Leadership Institute: The Mentor Story

[Al] I found that serving as a mentor within
the Nurse Leadership Institute to be very rewarding. I was able to see this
aspiring nurse leader develop and grow. [Susan] I truly believe that throughout your career there are times when you need to consume, you know, attention and time and resources and the wisdom of others and things like that, and then once you do
that it’s important to contribute. [Al] I find that the Nurse Leadership Institute really helps us to not just be a mentor but really evaluate and assess our
leadership styles. [Susan] It’s important to look in the mirror on purpose and and see
what you see and see what’s missing and what you can offer. [Al] The program is very content rich, it really made me as a leader — as well as other fellow mentors —
dig deep within ourselves, really evaluating our own leadership style, and
then really pushing to think about what communication skills we needed to have
being able to be an effective mentor. [Susan] There have been a lot of things written about being more Yoda and less Superman; to rush in and fix everything is great
in the moment but what that teaches us that is that we’re always there to fix
everything and being more Yoda — in other words asking more questions — and saying, “hmm … what thoughts do you have or how shall we figure this out?” is probably a
better gift to give to your mentee. [Andrea] When thinking about who I wanted to mentor me
through this process, I wanted someone who would challenge me. Whose leadership style did
I respect? Who displayed the characters or the qualities that I wanted to
emulate. [Susan] One of the first questions that I asked my mentee was um why me and
so that was a really fun place to start to find out what my mentee thought that
I could offer her. [Michele] My supervisor at the school was a colonel in the Army. She would call, she would check in, she’d
stop by the office should be asking, “What are we working on this week? What are you doing?” And just trying to ensure that I’m making it to that next level. [Al] What we
would do would be lay out a calendar map to say how many times we would need to
meet, and where we want to meet, and then really creating that safe space for her
was really important to me. [Susan] It was really driven mostly by the mentee, and in our
case she was on it, and she would send me not only one but two appointments at a
time which I thought was really helpful. And on my end I would check in and say,
“What would we like to accomplish when we meet? What shall I prepare for? What can
we talk about?” So that kept us, certainly we had a personal relationshi,p but it
kept us on track and moving forward. [Al] This program is second to none. It really
reminded me as to why I became a nurse and the importance of paying it forward. [Susan] I am where I am and who I am because of the mentors I’ve had — the right people at the
right time — and to be able to have that opportunity, to be that for somebody else
is I think extremely exciting. [Michele] It’s a snowball effect: When you change you
start to change others, and I want to pay things forward because somebody helped
to develop me. I want to make sure that other nurses that are yearning for that
mentorship and leadership development are able to get it from me.

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