Background: Baptist Health South Florida currently has a formal mentoring program. Although there has been good attendance with the mentoring classes, the participants fail to commit to formal mentoring. Consequently, system-wide, there are few formally trained mentors.

Purpose:This study was to understand the nurse mentoring culture within a hospital environment as well as identify and analyze the barriers to nurse mentoring using a focus group methodology.

Methods: This qualitative study explored nurse perceptions of a mentoring culture within a hospital environment. Open-ended, conversational-style interviewing techniques with a semi-structured interview guide followed by probes to elicit more specific information were used to gain a full description of each nurse’s perceptions.

Results: A structural model of mentoring as perceived by hospital nurses was developed from the data. Five overarching themes with corresponding subthemes emerged from the focus group data. (1) Mentoring culture: various mentoring models, informal vs formal, leader focused, and evolving. (2) Benefits: connections, development, retention, stability, patient safety, and making a difference. (3) Barriers: time, patients/patience, competition, knowledge deficit regarding mentor verses preceptor roles, lack of incentives, receptiveness, and voluntold. (4) Experience with mentoring: going above and beyond, lifetime relationships, personal/professional growth, feeling cared for. (5) Paradigm shift: match generational and cultural differences, resources, face to face, and voluntary.

Conclusions: The study results have identified mentoring as an integral aspect of personal and professional growth within the hospital environment. The rewards of mentoring or being mentored translated into increased retention, and nurse satisfaction. However there are identified barriers that need to be overcome. The most notable finding was the distinct knowledge deficit regarding the role and responsibilities of a mentor verses a preceptor in the hospital environment.

Publication Date


Presented At:

13th Annual BHSF Research Conference

Content Type


Open Access

Available to all.