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Mentoring Motivation and Empowerment of Nurses and Midwives in Nigeria Paper Delivered at the 2019 NANNM International Nurses Week-Abuja
Date Posted: 15/May/2019


Human organization are set up for a specific purpose and man is the most important and major resource to harness the other resources together for achieving the organizational mission vision  goals  and Objective.

Organizational theorists also claim that man come into organization for certain personal goals, and expect to work in conducive environment that make work pleasurable promoting and developing them while they earn  commensurate wages.

  • In essence organization need man and man need organization
  • Organizational goals are usually supreme and of priority but in order to strike a balance both organizational goal and those of man are carried along for success of organization
  • It is worth noting that no individual goals is higher than institutional goals.
  • Mentoring, motivation and empowerment are all concept in the management process and specifically in the directing and leadership process.
  • All managers are supposed to be leaders but there are subtle differences in the two.
  • Effective leadership depends on how all resources are managed to achieve institutional goals.
  • Effective leaders will mentor motivate and empower staff for easy smooth achievement of stated goals and credit and promote her leadership. Today’s work setting demands that it’s workers to produce outcome that are measureable, cost effective and make a difference.
  • It is then of necessity for leaders to mentor, motivate and empower subordinate for them to feel recognized appreciated proud of their commitment and dedication the commitment and dedication they contribute to the achievement of the institution and for them to own it.
  • Leadership in organization is so important and it can make or mare the organization despite availability of all resources.
  • Mentoring empowerment and motivation are roles of effective leader.
  • This paper will briefly discuss the mentoring and its process framework advantages and disadvantages etc with motivation and empowerment integrated. Challenges in Nursing and suggestion will be highlighted because as there is no best way to leadership same seems to be case. 


Mentoring is an elusive term that has existed for years in many disciplines and continues to evolve (Ehrich, Tennent, & Hansford, 2002). Although there have been various definitions of the term, the general purpose of men­toring has been similar in its many usages and is frequently described as it dynamic and applicable to the professional and personal development of a less experienced, young individual the mentee (Roberts, 2000). Certainly mentoring is not a new phenomenon, and it will undoubtedly continue to evolve from a hierarchical to a more collaborative process. With development of ICT mentoring process has expanded to include a global networking infrastructure.

Most of the research that has been published on mentoring are in business and education. The term mentoring is thought to be an oil-spring of human living, teaching and learning, giving and receiving wisdom in all relationships, leadership, and succession.

Some feel a mentorship involves just two people, while others feel a mentorship can be a group of people helping each other.)This perspective reinforces the more contemporary idea that it is generally more worthwhile to reach out to, network with, encourage, and mentor others than to work solo. However, although many people recommend a mentorship, there are successful individuals who routinely work on their own

Murray (2001) has developed and refined mentorship, over a 30-year period he defined mentoring as a “process of assign­ing a more skilled with a less skilled person with the goal of increasing the skills of the mentee”. However, over 30 years, the model has evolved to re­flect that learning, growth, and skill development occur with the mentor as well.

Shea (1999) says mentoring is a "developmental caring, sharing and helping relationship where one person invests time, know-how, and effort in enhancing another person's growth, knowledge and skills”.

“In nursing mentoring encompasses a guided, non-evaluated experience, formal or informal, assigned over a mutually agreed-on period of time that empowers the mentor and mentee to develop personally and profes­sionally within the auspices of a caring, collaborative, and respectful environment”.

The less skilled person in the classic mentoring relationship is called a mentee, protege, or novice, whereas the more experienced is always called a mentor. In order for the mentoring to be successful.

  • Lee (2000) suggests that the mentor must have a strong belief that the mentee has the capacity to suc­ceed.
  • Motivation and empowerment generate mentoring where both the mentor and mentee share their skills.
  • In order to have an effective mentor­ing relationship, the mentor must try to remove obstacles, give emotional support, and allow for recognition of achievement in the work.
  • In this way, mentees are supported to work harder to achieve their goals and ultimately achieve higher self-esteem as well.


  • Increase productivity
  • Accelerate individual and organizational goal accomplishment
  • Develop confidence in individual and groups of mentee.
  • Storing then and empower people
  • Promoting transfer and powering  


  • Career defined, which focuses on advancement in the organization by a mentor's coaching, connecting the mentee to networks, protecting the mentee, and giving challenging assignments to the mentee
  • Psychosocial functions, which increase the mentee's sell-worth, competence, identity, and general effectiveness by receiving friendship and counseling from the mentor.
  • Role modeling by the mentor so there is someone for the mentee to identity with and emulate envision how a nurse would follow various mentors' steps during his or her nursing career.


There are many modals and framework et al Shaffer, Tallarico, and Walsh (2000) suggest the following actions be included in order for successful empowerment of mentor and mentee during the traditional stages of the mentoring relationship.

  • Initiation: During the initial time, the two people should determine the other’s qualities that interest each in forming the mentorship. For example, what strengths and networks does the mentor have? What potential does the mentor see in the mentee? What is in it for the mentor? Ideas for establishing goals are discussed.
  • Cultivation: The relationship is defined with specific goals and activities that will benefit both mentor and mentee. Are there any connections that the mentor or mentee may have to expedite the accomplishments of goals? Schedules are made that are mutually agreed on by both the mentor and mentee.
  • Separation: Some mentorships and spontaneously, but most that are successful enter this phase, and the mentor and the mentee gradually dissolve or limit the relationship. Often one of the two experiences a career move that separates them geographically, but they remain in a long-term relationship in spite of the distance. They continue to assist each other with career advancement and are now more like colleagues, both being equally empowered.
  • Redefinition: This stage varies with each pair, and some relationships never proceed to this stage because they just ended. It is difficult to know if the mentee or mentor were ever empowered of the mentoring relationship did not progress and faded away. Others become colleagues and enjoy success from their relationship. There is little advice being given at this point since the pair have most likely become  peers who are equally empowered and are both richer for their mentorship.

The classic mentoring process is generally thought of as a relationship of two people: one (the mentee) who is a young and inexperienced person with great promise and the other who is a successful leader (the mentor) in the mentee's professional area. The mentor advises, teaches, coaches, role-models, and connects the mentee to significant networks.


Many (Bell, 1998; Bennetts, 2000; Sinetar, 1998) identify benefits for the mentee, mentor, and organization, including

  • quicker learning curves for mentee and mentor;
  • increased communication of corporate values;
  • reduced turnover at a time when new recruits may be difficult  locate;
  • increased loyalty;
  • improved one-on-one communication and team spirit within work groups;
  • increased employee productivity;
  • added time for oneself to work on one's own goals;
  • added information from mentees regarding what is going on outside your department;
  • creation of allies in the mentees for the future.


  • Precepting
  • Coaching
  • Role Modeling
  • Co-Mentoring


Unhealthy mentors who intimidate and treat mentees without dignity and respect

  • Ultra aggressive mentors over confident with low self esteem
  • Personality incompatibility
  • Power mongering and resentful mentors
  • Jealous hostile and abusive mentors etc


The psychosocial theory of development (Erikson, 1998) suggests that the final stage of generativity correlates with the concept of mentoring be­cause it allows all who have a concern for improving the world to partici­pate by mentoring younger generations. Luna and Cullen (1996) suggest that this framework fits well in academia, where senior faculty mentor ju­nior faculty to develop younger colleagues' talent and, at the same lime, promote the department and university as well. Essentially generatively the building block of mentoring as one gives back or mentors a new gen­eration".

Roberts (2000) conducted a literature review of mentoring using a phenomenological approach. He defines mentoring as "a formalized process whereby a more knowledgeable and experienced person takes on a supportive role of overseeing and encouraging reflection and learning with a less experienced and knowledgeable person, so as to facilitate that per­son's career and personal development". Results of his literature review on mentoring research published between 1978 and 1999 demon­strated a consensus regarding the following themes as being components of the mentoring process:

  • Supportive relationship
  • Helping process
  • Teaching learning process
  • Reflective process
  • Career development process
  • Formalized process
  • Mentoring process consisting of coaching, sponsoring, role modeling, and assessing
  • Informal pairing of mentor and mentee

Research validates that people who have worked successfully with a mentor have more promotions, increased incomes, increased career satis­faction, and increased mobility than those without mentors (Schwieberi, 2000). The key to successful mentoring is collegiality and caring between the mentor, the mentee, and others in the organization. Kram believes that mentees (in academia and business) can advance even more if multiple mentors are involved with a mentee. It is common knowledge that the majority of faculty who have had mentors are more pro­ductive in obtaining competitive grants, leading professional organizations, and publishing more books and refereed journal articles. Mentored faculty are also found to have higher job satisfaction.


  • Mentoring has long been considered a retention strategy for students. Research suggests that mentoring relationships are positively related to academic outcomes, such as persistence and" grades, and as a strategy to support social justice and the development of underrepresented and disadvantaged students (Crisp, 2011).
  • Mentoring has also been recognized as a learning engagement experience that encompasses growth for both the mentor and the mentee. This experience has a predictable structure that can be described in phases: preparing, negotiating, enabling growth, and coming to closure.(another model)


  • Preparing: Getting Ready
  • Coming to Closure: Looking Back, Moving Forward
  • Enabling Growth: Facilitating Learning
  • Negotiating Establishing Agreements

Although definitions of mentoring have varied across studies and programs, there appear to be consensus across four central characteristics of mentoring programs (Crisp and Cruz, 2009):

i.              Mentoring relationships are focused on the growth and                development of students and can be constructed in                 various forms.

ii.             Mentoring experiences may include broad forms of support that include professional, career, and emotional support.

iii.            Mentoring relationships are personal and reciprocal.

iv.           Relative to their students, mentors have more experience, influence, or achievement within the             educational environment.

  • Contemporary mentoring is defined as a formalized process whereby a more knowledgeable and experienced person actuates a supportive role of overseeing and encouraging reflection and learning within a less experienced and knowledgeable person, so as to facilitate that person's career and personal development.
  • The mentor and mentee agree to a partnership where they will work collaboratively toward achievement of mutually defined goals that will develop the mentee’s skills, abilities, knowledge, and/or thinking.


Students come from diverse cultures, family histories, and economic situations. They will all bring a host of attributes, life experiences, and knowledge that they will want and need to connect to what they are learning in your program. A growing body of evidence suggests that faculty members, staff members, graduate students, community nurse leaders, and peers are all important to college student success and may serve as mentors.

  • Faculty and Academic Advisors: Faculty and academic advisors are critical to the student experience and are responsible for helping students navigate institutional, departmental, and programmatic requirements. Faculty can engage students through supervised research.
  • Staff Members: Staff members also assist with student adjustment and advancement toward degree attainment. Counseling and student services are important to the academic experience.
  • Graduate Students: Graduate students often support the work of faculty and maybe available to meet with students for support, examination reviews, etc.
  • Community Leaders: Practice partners who support the advancement of students may also serve as mentors, especially as students prepare to transition into the workforce.
  • Peers: Peer relationships are very important to students and a vital source of academic and social support. This may be particularly important to underrepresented and first-generation college students. Research evidence suggests that peers enrich the learning process for students.


  • Committing time to mentoring-making it a priority
  • Building a relationship with the student(s) you mentor
  • At least 2 meetings per month, at least 1 hour in length each
  • Being available by phone/email/text (within reason)
  • Communicating openly
  • Facilitating the student's learning
  • Actively listening and giving feedback without judgment
  • Working through any issues that arise in the mentoring relationship
  • Evaluating the process
  • Learning about yourself


  • Pride in being a part of someone else's growth and development in the nursing profession
  • Growth and development for yourself
  • A relationship with a new person
  • Satisfaction of sharing your knowledge and experiences
  • Practice in listening and giving feedback
  • Insights on how others struggle with issues and make choices
  • Practice working through issues with others
  • Feedback on how you facilitate growth for others
  • A chance to inspire others to be mentors while practicing your mentoring skills
  • A relationship with a new person


  • Be a positive, professional role model
  • Assist the student mentee in deciding which issues are appropriate to be addressed during the mentoring relationship and which should be referred to another person Introduce the student mentee to others; assist mentee in developing professional networks
  • Guide the student mentee in developing skills of reflection and learning from experience
  • Challenge assumptions and the status quo
  • Provide constructive feedback when asked
  • Encourage independent decision making
  • Assist the student mentee to set professional career goals
  • Provide a listening ear
  • Help student mentee identify potential personal and professional development opportunities
  • Be aware of personal values/beliefs and ensure these are not imposed on student mentee
  • Support, encourage and inspire the student mentee
  • Help problem solve and identify potential solutions and relevant resources
  • Be empathetic


  • Bring forth professional and career issues for discussion »    Make own decisions
  • Be prepared to take risks
  • Look for new challenges
  • Set professional goals
  • Take appropriate advantage of professional development opportunities suggested by the mentor
  • Share openly with the mentor
  • Accept constructive criticism, use feedback wisely
  • Disclose frustrations and concerns.


  • Be approachable
  • Make eye contact and smile
  • Initiate conversation
  • Be curious
  • Listen actively
  • Mirroring

All these are evidence based


As earlier mentioned the concepts of empowerment mentoring and motivation are all roles within the concept of leadership or leading and directing in any organization and for achievement of organizational goals. Empowering nurses is more imperative now than ever before because of the following.

  • The various changes in health care system, the populace, health technology Nursing science and practice. There is need for empowerment process all the time throughout the nursing education, practice, management, research etc
  • The practice area of each discipline is blurring based on expanded role of Nurses. It is imperative to increase their autonomy in the clinical area, gain momentum in carving out areas of research that will strengthen Nursing Science add to evidence based practice and network together to create partnership to fulfill both clinical and academic mission.
  • One way leaders empower and assist others to empower themselves is by respecting each persons and the person’s ability to contribute to an organizational and the profession.
  • It is well documented that empowering all and decreasing bureaucratic structure improves productivity and quality. This  paradigm shift supports achieving self esteem as an outcome of feeling more self confidence
  • Empowerment of an organization’s workers is considered on of the most important aspects of organization achievement of excellence. To empower it is worth nothing that
  • All individuals need to feel successfully and self directed
  • Nurses seem to be perfectionist but to empower, nurses need to be recognize for the small wins that staff members achieve daily. This will encourage staff to think, act and behave like winners.
  • Nurses need to be empowered so that they can help their clients, by empowering them to feel safe and speak up about their condition and plan of care.

Hillary Clinton (2002), along with Senator Gordon Smith in empowering nurses introduced the Nurse Reinvestment Act, which gives some long-overdue respect for nursing by offering seed money to hospitals to implement practices that recognize and maximize the value of nursing. This recognition involve having nurses contribute to decisions affecting policy and patient care and supporting nurses continuing education and career advancement. Kouzcs and Posner (1995) describe five sets of behavioral practices that have as­sisted leaders to become empowered and able to encourage people to do ex­traordinary things:

  • Demonstrate perseverance.
  • Have a focus or direction.
  • Empower others.
  • Be a role model.
  • Recognize others contributions.   


Empowerment means being inspired with self-confidence and the knowl­edge that one can make a difference by one's actions. It eventually leads to increased self-esteem. Empowering, or being able to empower others, is de­fined as being able to encourage an individual or oneself with confidence and demonstrating the ability to pass a sense of authority to another person.

  • It is an interpersonal process of providing the resources, tools, and environment to develop, build and increase ability and effectiveness of others to set and reach goal for individual and social ends

Without resources no matter how well motivated work may not be well accomplished nurses standard and moral lowered and goals not achieved.

Ways for energizing workers

These are Katzenbach's five paths/framework to empowerment

1.   Mission, Values, and Pride

2.   Process and Metrics

3.   Entrepreneurial Spirit

4.   Individual Achievement

  1. Recognition and Celebration

I will only highlight mission and pride because of more relevance to nursing and health care.


  • Kouzes and Posner (2003) suggest that people who are recognized for their good work and are encouraged are more likely to achieve higher levels of success. They recommend strategies for leaders to use to support others need to be appreciated for what they do.
  • Just as Sinetar (1998) describes mentoring as the art of encouragement and soul, Kouzes and Posner (2003) note that an extremely important component of empowering staff is to “encourage the heart,” such as the encouragement a mentor gives. This encouragement of the heart is often what is missing in the work environment of nurses yet is a spirit that fits with advancing a mentoring culture in nursing.

Mentors and preceptors can assist their colleagues in gaining leadership skills by giving them opportunities to practice effective communication, administrative tasks, team building, conflict management and supervision of other employees for example by

  • taking positions that offer new and increased responsibilities
  • managing special start-up assignments that afford them visibility
  • handling personnel problems like conflicts and firings
  • representing the unit at a division or department meeting
  • leading a unit staff meeting
  • scheduling and managing staff work requests for the next three month period
  • developing an interdisciplinary clinical protocol
  • meeting with members of outside health care agencies to set up a partnership

Goode et al (1992) studied (N=322) staff nurses’ perception of job satisfaction and found 92% identified recognition as the most significant.

  • Katzenbaeh (2003)  believes emotional com­mitment from employees is the key to success and keeping competitive.
  • Pride in one's work and recognition are significant rewards that nurses are seeking today.
  • Many think that monetary reward is what it takes to motivate employees, but this is only part of it.
  • Katzenbach (2003) repeatedly talks about pride. He feels that in order to be successful and perform at high level, one needs a strong ego as well as self-serving pride.
  • Nursing, in-any specialty area, is a high-performance job. If nurses can feel proud of themselves and have those they respect and admire feel proud of them two motivational dimensions are satisfied.
  • Katzenbach challenges all "lead­ers in almost any organizational setting to motivate higher employee per­formance by capitalizing on the anticipation of feeling proud and making others proud, too".
  • He believes that development of pride-building skills can be learned and can build long-term sustainability for an organi­zation.
  • In addition, cultivating pride in the nursing workforce can propel the nursing profession to bigger and better things
  • Risher (2003) lists four "common sense" ways of improving employee performance:
  • (1) get the employees to work harder;
  • (2) train them with better work methods to be more productive;
  • (3) try to reengineer the way the work is done, and then train them again; and
  • (4) empower the workers to develop better methods. Empowering employees involves trust, and once there is trust between the management and the employees, there will be in­creased performance. This is a new empowerment philosophy that recog­nizes what employees have to offer more so than ever before.


In nursing both mentors and mentees can role model-empowering behavior by

  • being positive and proactive;
  • giving control to frontline employees;
  • offering culturally sensitive assistance;
  • encouraging individuals and recognizing all of the person's existing strengths;
  • increasing awareness of available support systems;
  • attempting to convey a joint sense of responsibility for work so a per­son does not become stressed:
  • promoting the use of coping strategies to prevent a sense of panic;
  • helping the person not only see that problems have been solved or needs met but that the person functioned as an active, responsible agent who played a significant role

Worrell, McGinn, et al propose the fol­lowing model for faculty to role-model in order to provide empowerment to students, who will thereby become collegial effective communicators, au­tonomous, and accountable:

  • Collegiality. The relationship should be based on mutual respect for all involved. Faculty need to give honest feedback lo students and not offer false praise in order to please them. Faculty should coach the students in order to use all of their potential. This acts to empower them. Faculty can also mentor their students by role-modeling political survival skills (Glass, 1998).
  • Communication. Faculty need to effectively transmit information to all involved. There must be opportunities for students to engage in dialogue with their professors. Faculty cannot just provide all of the information that students need to learn. There must be interactive learning. Students who are spoon-fed information will be enabled and will not develop self-confidence.
  • Autonomy. Students need to be independent. They need to learn problem-solving skills so they can think critically and have supervised practice in providing solutions to problems they encounter. Having auton­omy will also increase student self-esteem.
  • Accountability. Students must be responsible for their actions as well as their learning. Faculty or supervisor must not allow students to be res­cued. They need to be held accountable for their actions. Faculty and su­pervisors who are codependent will offer unsolicited advice or enable a student who is actually capable of handling his or her own challenges.


Bernhard and Walsh (1990) provide an interesting four-stage model that integrates and substantiates the close relationship between mentoring empowerment, and motivating individuals

Stage 1 Input: Employees must have inner  motivation in order for mentoring and empowerment to occur

Stage 2 Process: Through mentoring, energy can be channeled to accomplish goals and increase mentees’ perceptions of the environment. Both the mentor and mentees’ become motivated to achieve their own goals.

Stage 3 Output: The goal of mentoring is for the mentee to become empowered. This prepares the mentee to be accountable

Stage 4 Feedback: The empowered mentee will acquire high self-esteem and competence. It is time for the mentee or mentor and attempt to motivate someone else.


  • Before registering a complaint, try to configure a possible solution that can be submitted along with the complaint.
  • Stop whining about everything new. Be flexible, or at least try the change.
  • Assess the pros and cons of the situation, and attempt to outweigh the cons.
  • Prioritize one's battles. Focus on only the two most important ones. Review your colleagues' strengths. Review your own strengths.
  • Avoid the doom and gloom. Try smiling, which releases endorphins and improves your overall well-being.
  • Set a positive tone, and try to avoid peer pressure (when everyone agrees lo something because someone else does and now are too tired to reflect comprehensively on the issue),
  • Network, and keep abreast of grassroots opinions.


This paper has tried to show the interrelatedness of mentoring motivation and empowerment with achievement of organizational goal and specifically in relations to leadership of the organization.

  • Mentoring motivation and empowerment are skills to be learnt and all leaders/managers should have formal training to enhance the performance of their rile, improve organization’s performance and promote workers satisfaction and also those of our clients as we render services. Literature and evidence replete on advantages and impact on organizational productivity and work force.
  • There are many models and framework to each of the concept and as professionals with a life long learning philosophy encourage you all to read more on the concepts and for CF a unit to float sessions on ,mentoring empowerment.
  • Institution can organize conferences and translate the knowledge to practice for the betterment of our nurses  and subsequently of quality of care.
  • The basis for all nurses education and research is to provide best practices to our client
  • Leaders and on coming leaders can avant themselves to various leadership training in Nursing e.g American College of Collegate Nursing and Helen Fuld Foundation.
  • International mentoring through the Chiron Mentor Felloe Program
  • Sigma Thefa Tan International (STTI)
  • Chiron leadership mentoring program
  • Leaders must ensure basic resource are available to allow nurses to put on their best and enjoy work. Koloroutic (2004) said that caring is a significant attribute of an effective leader and that leader should make work setting caring focused.
  • Training should be provided by experts consultant who have hand on tools or by nurse leader who have had the training. Mentoring and empowerment are skill and video practical session are needed.

Empowerment is necessary for all nurses as well as for the advancement of the profession of nursing. As leaders develop, they become more self empowered and able to empower others. Nurses must gain self-confidence, a goal that can be achieved by becoming competent with both clinical skills and leadership skills such as negotiation, creative thinking, communication and collaboration. In order to achieve this confidence, nurses need to be mentored by experienced nurses who can provide knowledge, psychosocial support, and networking. Mentors can assist individuals to increase their self-confidence, and in time, their self-esteem will heighten. By affording opportunities for nurses to empower themselves, practice leadership, and work with role models, coaches, and mentors, nurses will continue to make a difference in patient care.

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