When I was elected president of the Student Nursing Organization at Radford, I worked with our advisor to begin a mentor program for incoming level one students. We had an overflow of interested level one students and quickly realized we needed more mentors. I served as a mentor to two level one nursing students-one during my Fall and one during my Spring semester at Radford University, upon implementing the mentor program.
Both of my mentees contacted me weekly to ask about assignments, books, professors, clinicals, and overall survival. I remember as a level one nursing student, I was extremely overwhelmed. However, one advantage I considered myself as having was upperclassmen friends who were either a level above me or nursing school graduates. They were invaluable resources for me as a level one student. I knew that I wanted to be able to help out in the same way to level one students, so naturally I chose to serve as a mentor. Both Rachel and Whitney are doing wonderful in nursing school. I think that having someone who has been through and lived the experience is helpful in calming nerves, because you know that it has been done and that it can be done. You also have your own personal cheerleaders which is never a bad idea.
I was available as much as my mentees needed me-always just a phone call or text away. In my opinion, the SNO nursing mentor program also served as a professional networking opportunity. Because of the mentor program, second, third, and fourth level students were able to establish professional relationships with level one nursing students. I believe that overall it helped connect the different nursing levels more than they were when I was a level one student. I think that the nursing mentor program will only continue to grow in the future.