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Best Practices in Formal Faculty Mentoring Program. CFI Roundtable Discussion Linda Hulton , RN, PhD Professor of Nursing. Outcomes of Today’s Roundtable “ Think About; Write About; Talk About”.

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best practices in formal faculty mentoring program

Best Practices in Formal Faculty Mentoring Program

CFI Roundtable Discussion

Linda Hulton, RN, PhD

Professor of Nursing

outcomes of today s roundtable think about write about talk about
Outcomes of Today’s Roundtable“Think About; Write About; Talk About”
  • Learn about an evidence-based model of formal mentoring program designed by faculty for faculty within a department
  • Gain insights into the challenges and benefits of deploying a formal mentoring program
  • Engage other faculty about ideas and possibilities for formalized mentoring within their own departments.
homer s classic work the odyssey
Homer’s Classic Work “The Odyssey”
  • Mentor provided important guidance for Telemachus and was portrayed as a wise advisor and consistent supporter.
  • Faculty mentoring is a collaborative relationship that proceeds through purposeful stages over time. The goal is to help mentees acquire the essential competencies and constructive work relationships needed for their continued career vitality(Bland et al., 2009)

For a friend with an understanding heart is worth

no less than a brother” Homer, The Odyssey

benefits of mentoring
Benefits of Mentoring


Scholarship Productivity

Job and career satisfaction, intention to stay

Socialization to a profession’s norms

Salary levels and promotion


Personal satisfaction

Career rejuvenation

Professional Recognition


Higher levels of productivity

Higher levels of creativity

Higher levels of satisfaction

Increased commitment to the organization

Decreased turn-over and higher levels of retention

the need
The Need
  • Nursing education will have to increase the number of new nurse graduates by 30% a year over the next decade to meet the growing demand for registered nurses (Council on Physician and Nurse Supply, 2010).
  • One of the most important factors contributing to this crisis is insufficient numbers of qualified nursing faculty (Daly et al, 2008; Rukholm et al., 2009)
  • In 2012, JMU Nursing doubled the size of it’s undergraduate class, expanded it’s master programs, and prepared to begin a doctoral program in nursing. Subsequently, the department added 11 new nursing faculty positions. The majority of the new faculty were “early career” nursing educators.

Summer 2012 Project Journey:

Design a Faculty Mentoring Program

meeting the needs early career mid career late career faculty
Meeting the Needs:Early Career, Mid Career, Late Career Faculty
  • Early Career: those within 1st 7 years of appointment to a faculty position or those who have not yet received tenure
  • Mid-Career: Period starting from the end of probationary period until preparation for retirement
  • Late-Career: Years in Academia; preparing for retirement
think about
Think About:
  • What are the needs of Early Career Faculty?
  • What are the needs of Mid-Career Faculty
  • What are the needs of Late Career Faculty?
  • How are their needs different?

“ A man who has been through bitter experiences and

travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.”

Homer, the Odyssey

needs of midcareer and late career faculty snow on the roof fire in the furnace
Needs of midcareer and late career faculty“Snow on the Roof – Fire in the Furnace”


  • Motivation and satisfaction, stress, and retirement plans (Berberet et al., 2005).
    • Intellectual stimulation in one’s discipline and opportunity to make an impact on one’s institution
    • “ranked intellectual inquiry at the top, followed by desire for membership in a meaningful academic community, to have institutional impact, and to be recognized by one’s work” (p. 87)

Senior faculty would likely retire earlier than expected if they were dissatisfied with their work environment, not performing their job up to their expectations, feeling unappreciated by their department of colleagues, facing increased workload and productivity expectations at their institution.


  • Relative stability, but “career recycling” (Super, 1986).
  • Continually developing and reinventing themselves.
  • Work life and activities are different than early career faculty (Baldwin, Lunceford, & Vanderlinden, 2005)
    • Article productivity is higher in early/middle years
    • Book productivity is higher in later career
mentoring strategies for midcareer and senior faculty
Mentoring strategies for midcareer and senior faculty
  • Group mentoring
  • Peer mentoring
  • 4 questions (A. Rolfe, 2006) :
    • Where am I now? (Current Reality)
    • Where do I want to be? (Reflection)
    • How do I get there? (Informed Decisions)
    • How am I doing? (Action)
a conceptual framework for the development implementation evaluation of formal mentoring programs



2 weeks before school starts

  • Needs assessment (Matching)
  • Needs Assessment (Broader Faculty Development)

Faculty Development

  • Additions:
  • Peer mentoring
  • Group mentoring
  • Pods
  • Book discussions
  • (Planned after needs assessment)
A Conceptual Framework for the Development, Implementation, & Evaluation of Formal Mentoring Programs


Faculty Development

Subcommittee on mentoring


Adapted from Gaskill, 1993

nuts bolts
  • Recommendations:
    • Minimum of 3 meetings each semester: 1st to establish goals
    • Contract was signed that outlined confidentiality, specific goals, skill development, and expectations
    • Group mentoring by Department Head (once/semester)
    • Evaluation procedure in place
  • Mentor/Mentee Interest/strengths inventory
  • Partnership agreement (opt out policy)
  • Mentoring process was reflected in the annual evaluation materials and credited as service to the department and profession
nursing faculty development special events
Nursing Faculty Development Special Events
  • Faculty Service Project “HARTs”
  • Portfolio lockdowns for 1st year evaluations
  • Creation of a Faculty Development space/library in Burruss Hall
  • Mentor/Mentee “Brown Bags”
    • Ex: “Things you won’t find in the Faculty Handbook”
  • “Celebrate Benner” Week Book Discussion
  • Peer Orientation and Development Groups (PODS):
    • Creative Clinical Conferencing
    • Team-based Learning
    • Using Clinical Apps on your smart technology
write about what do you think are some essentials of successful faculty mentoring
Write About:What do you think are some Essentials of Successful Faculty Mentoring?

“Each man delights in the work that suits him best” Homer, The Odyssey

program essentials bland 2009
Program Essentials (Bland, 2009)
  • Program design
    • Formal initiation and ending; Training; systematic contract
    • Mechanism for matching mentor/mentees
    • Clear expectations
    • Mentoring agreement
    • Activities to support mentor/mentees
  • Clearly stated purpose and goals
  • Support of faculty and administrative leadership
  • Positioned appropriately within the larger organization
  • Program evaluation
  • Program is linked and coordinated with other similar (no duplication)
  • Needed resources are identified and acquired
  • Scale: Quality and Learning of Mentoring Relationships (Allen & Eby, 2003)
  • 10 declarative statements incorporating 6 point Likert scale
  • 2 Focus Groups
  • IRB approval
  • Mixed methods design
  • Cross sectional online survey using Dillman method (2007).
  • Data Collection occurred during the final month of Spring 2013 semester.
results of the quality and learning of mentoring relationships allen eby 2003 n 21 95 response rate
Results of the Quality and Learning of Mentoring Relationships (Allen & Eby, 2003). N = 21 (95% response rate)

The results of the focus groups are still being analyzed, but preliminary themes are:

  • 1). Challenges with matching up schedules, especially when mentor/mentee’s offices were on different floors or teaching in different programs;
  • 2). Slow start due to overwhelming schedules at the beginning of the year; mentee’s didn’t know what questions to ask
  • 3) Many questions on Faculty Activity Reports/Faculty Anticipated Activity Reports and 1st semester evaluation processes;
  • 4). Mentors didn’t always know what to do or how to help. They didn’t see how it benefitted them professionally. Felt that some mentee’s were resistant to needing mentored.
  • 4). Ideas for quality improvements for year 2 of the program.
anecdotal evaluation
Anecdotal Evaluation

Everybody stayed!

“Budget Neutral”

talk about so what now
Talk About:So What Now?
  • Where are there holes in your current mentoring programs?
  • What is your disciplinary lens of mentoring needs?
  • Reflect on opportunities

“Urge him with truth to frame his fair replies; And surely he will; for wisdom never lies”

Homer, The Odyssey