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Exploring online mentorship as a potential strategy to enhance postgraduate mental health nursing education through online delivery: A review of the literature
journal contributionposted on 29.07.2021, 21:00 by Julie BradshawJulie Bradshaw, Margaret McallisterMargaret Mcallister, Jennifer Mulvogue, Robert N Ryan, Brenda M Happell
The value of mentorship to professional development in nursing education has been consistently demonstrated in the literature. The benefits for mental health nursing are particularly noted for attracting nursing students and new graduates into this area of practice. The proliferation of online delivery of mental health nursing programs poses particular issues in providing mentorship to students. Despite changes to the mode of educational delivery, the mentorship literature primarily addresses face-to-face processes. The aim of this paper is to present a review of the literature pertaining to online mentorship. A literature search of the CinAHL, Medline, ProQuest and Google Scholar databases was undertaken to identify relevant literature. Hand searches of reference lists were also conducted. The findings demonstrate the paucity of literature addressing this topic. Evaluation of online mentorship programs are particularly scarce, small scale and usually conducted at one site only. Few descriptions of the content and structure are provided meaning that program development cannot benefit from existing knowledge and expertise. There is an urgent need for online mentorship accompanied by rigorous and systematic evaluation frameworks to maximize the benefits of mentorship to an online environment.