Piloting a global mentorship initiative to support African emergency nurses
Mentorship is a relationship whereby a person experienced in the specialty supports and guides a less experienced person following a process of relationship building, engagement and development, self-inquiry and reflection (Seekoe, 2014). It involves regular contact with a critical friend who has a mature level of skills and expertise and can advise and support the mentee’s development in order to empower them and build capacity (Seekoe, 2014). In healthcare this relationship usually has formal recognition. Indeed clinical mentorship of nurse initiated antiretroviral therapy in resource limited settings in South Africa suggests that mentorship increases clinical confidence and improves the quality of nursing care (Green, de Azevedo, Patten, Davies, Ibeto, et al., 2014). Bennet, Paina, Ssengooba, Waswa and Imunya (2013) demonstrated in Kenya and Uganda that mentorship programmes have a positive impact on career development and whether to remain in health research. However, in a global healthcare context, one size does not fit all. Limited examples exist of Afrocentric mentorship arrangements which enhance the personal development and expertise of novice health practitioners however no current mentorship infrastructure exists to support the development of emergency nurses in Africa (Brysiewicz, 2012). This paper explains the creation and pilot of a global mentorship initiative through collaboration to support emergency nurses in Africa and, the potential benefits and limitations of such a quest.