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Understanding registered nurses’ and student nurses’ positive mentorship experiences in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) using appreciative inquiry

Alharazi, Ruba (2015). Understanding registered nurses’ and student nurses’ positive mentorship experiences in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) using appreciative inquiry. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


This thesis presents work conducted for a structured doctorate consisting of four main components. The first element is a case study investigating the current practice of mentorship in a clinical setting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The qualitative case study was conducted in a government nursing college and its associated government hospital. Data were collected through individual interviews (2) with nursing coordinators; semi-structured focus groups (8) with mentees (n=3), mentors and clinical educators (n=3), lecturers (n=1) and head nurses (n=1); and finally, documentary analysis. The findings show that neither mentors nor mentees were happy with the current arrangements. Mentees believed that mentorship did not benefit them, and mentors seemed to resent the request to devote time to mentees. Both parties need to approach the other with more empathy, appreciating their difficulties and respecting their individual choices and wishes. Mentors also pointed to a lack of coordination between university and hospital, and both mentors and mentees felt that the mentorship process lacked clarity. Devising and putting into practice a new policy could lead to important positive changes in mentors’ and mentees’ experiences and relationships.

The second element of the structured doctorate, undertaken after the case study, is the best evidence literature review. The aim of the review was to examine published studies on mentorship in nursing from the perspectives of both mentors and mentees in order to obtain a holistic view of mentorship experiences. A critical evaluation of these published studies is presented, reviewing the definitions of mentorship in the literature and highlighting the sparse literature on nursing mentorship in Saudi Arabia. Next is a critical overview of the nursing mentorship experiences in Islamic countries. Mentors’ and mentees’ views on mentorship are discussed. The final section summarizes the findings and attempts to use them to answer the literature review questions whilst highlighting the gaps in the literature.

The third element is the main study, which emerged from the literature and builds on the case study. It aimed to investigate the factors contributing to positive mentorship experiences in nursing in Jeddah by exploring mentors’ and mentees’ positive experiences. The qualitative study was conducted from the theoretical perspective of appreciative inquiry (AI). Data were collected in semi-structured focus groups (total of six) with mentees (n=3) and mentors (n=3) at three settings. The key contributing factors to positive mentorship experiences and the main themes from data analysis are communication; involvement; encouragement; reciprocity; students’ sense of fear; mentors’ role, including its characteristics, preparation for it and feedback; and organisational-level processes and resources, such as time availability, workload, allocation and college-university collaboration. It is recommended that a consensus definition of mentorship be issued to avoid conflict in roles and expectations, that systems be developed to give mentors time to spend with mentees and that mentors attend a mentorship training programme to gain understanding of the process and be prepared for their role.

The fourth element is the dissemination artefact and plan, which communicate the findings to develop education, policy, practice and research. A briefing for stakeholders contains an overview of the study and key findings. An outline of a mentorship training programme and a draft handbook for local use in Saudi Arabia are proposed. The dissemination plan explains how the researcher plans to disseminate the artefact.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences
Text - Accepted Version
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