Mentoring overseas nurses: Barriers to effective and non-discriminatory mentoring practices


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Abstract

In this article it is argued that there are barriers to effective and non-discriminatory practice when mentoring overseas nurses within the National Health Service (NHS) and the care home sector. These include a lack of awareness about how cultural differences affect mentoring and learning for overseas nurses during their period of supervised practice prior to registration with the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council. These barriers may demonstrate a lack of effective teaching of ethical practice in the context of cultural diversity in health care. This argument is supported by empirical data from a national study. Interviews were undertaken with 93 overseas nurses and 24 national and 13 local managers and mentors from six research sites involving UK health care employers in the NHS and independent sectors in different regions of the UK. The data collected showed that overseas nurses are discriminated against in their learning by poor mentoring practices; equally, from these data, it appears thatmentors are ill-equipped by existing mentor preparation programmes to mentor overseas-trained nurses from culturally diverse backgrounds. Recommendations are made for improving mentoring programmes to address mentors' ability to facilitate learning in a culturally diverse workplace and thereby improve overseas nurses' experiences of their supervised practice.

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