A Teaching Mentorship Program to Facilitate Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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The impact of decreasing faculty numbers on the nursing shortage has been well documented. Mentoring is recognized as the most significant way to grow and nurture nurse educators. The purpose of this paper is to describe the Teaching Mentorship Program within the College of Nursing Department of Biobehavioral Health Science at a Midwestern state university. The program activities are designed to facilitate new faculty members’ transition from the role of nurse clinician to the role of nurse educator, to support the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices, and to encourage the development of teaching scholarship. Outcomes of the program include retention of new faculty, improved student satisfaction with the quality of instruction, and increased teaching scholarship activities. The program demonstrates the three hallmarks of an effective mentoring program. First, the program is supported by an institutional culture that values mentoring and provides it with an organizational home. Second, the Associate Department Head and primary mentor has been an educator for thirty-seven years with expertise in curriculum development, program evaluation, and teaching methodologies. Third, because the Associate Department Head’s principle role is to implement the program and serve as the primary mentor, her commitment is to provide flexible, timely access to faculty.